SILSDEN councillors raised a host of concerns when they spoke as part of consultation on the district’s housing needs.

Rebecca Whitaker and Caroline Whitaker cited under-pressure infrastructure, land shortages and lack of affordable housing amongst challenges facing communities like Silsden and Steeton.

The pair, both members of Silsden Town Council, were attending a stakeholder event as part of effort to create a new Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) for Bradford district.

Housing specialist Arc4 is gathering views for both the Bradford SHMA and a Local Housing Needs Study, which would support a review of the council’s Core Strategy.

The current version of the strategy calls for 1,200 houses to be belt in Silsden by 2030, and several hundred have already been built or have received planning permission. Steeton/Eastburn has also been earmarked for several hundred new homes.

The Local Housing Needs Study will consider future demographic trends, and identify the housing requirements of specific groups such as black and minority-ethnic households, first time buyers, families with children, people with disabilities, and older people.

Rebecca Whitaker, who also represents Craven ward on Bradford Council, told Arc4 that Silsden had been earmarked as a Local Growth Centre and as a result was being “hit badly” by a lot of additional housing.

She said there was not enough infrastructure to sustain the disproportionate amount of new homes. Bradford Council has earmarked the town for 1,200 new houses over the next few years.

She said Steeton had no more land to build on without encroaching on to green belt.

Cllr Whitaker was concerned about the amount of executive housing being built across Craven.

She said: “These new residents tend to be working in Leeds and Lancashire and not in Bradford. This means it is not boosting the Bradford economy which is what the council is hoping for.

“Craven ward also has an ageing population and there is a need for suitable housing to meet their needs.”

Cllr Rebecca Whitaker added that developers were often not building the affordable housing they had originally promised in the planning applications.

The Arc4 study involves extensive engagement with local residents and stakeholders, including a survey sent to 23,000 households across the district. Around 3,500 have been returned so far.

Cllr Rebecca Whitaker, speaking at the stakeholder meeting, said that despite the servers been sent out randomly, she did not know anyone in her ward that had received one.

She requested that consultations be held locally so residents could voice their views and concerns.