CAMPAIGNERS are fighting plans for a major housing development on a greenfield site.

Opponents say the proposals – for 140 homes off Bolton Road, Silsden – will put unbearable strain on the town's infrastructure.

Residents claim that roads and community facilities are already struggling to cope with a surge in new houses.

And there are fears that building on the earmarked land will destroy an "important gateway" to local countryside.

Silsden Campaign for the Countryside – formed three years ago – says it has seen a wave of new supporters come forward since the latest planning application, by Persimmon Homes, was submitted to Bradford Council.

Mark Wogden, the group's chair, said: "We had 130 people attend a meeting without us even advertising it.

"Persimmon has applied vast resources to force its way into a prospective planning approval, and we are working hard to provide people with relevant information about how to resist this. The information is available on our website – – and is going out in a hand-delivered leaflet to all households.

"Our three district councillors and our MP have all said they are opposed to the development. We look forward to them supporting our messaging about the issues that will affect the outcome of the planning application.

"This is not about whether Bradford Council should have provided for more development on brownfield sites in the district – that is a discussion for another time and place. Right now we need to tackle the immediate issues affecting us, in a co-ordinated way."

Keighley MP Robbie Moore confirms his opposition to the scheme, and is urging residents to submit their views via the Bradford Council planning portal.

"Silsden is being completely inundated with new housing and local infrastructure can’t cope," he said.

"The town has experienced huge growth recently and has reached a point where it cannot take any more.

"There are many other new housing developments currently being constructed in Silsden – including the ones from Barratt, Lindum Homes and Skipton Properties. These new proposals will cause huge extra strain on vital services, including healthcare and education. Anyone who has driven in Silsden knows how big an issue congestion is, and the current road infrastructure could not handle an even greater number of vehicles.

"The greenfield site identified for these 140 homes represents a gateway to Silsden’s countryside. The case against Persimmon’s plans is clear."

A Persimmon Homes West Yorkshire spokesperson told the Keighley News: “The planning application for our proposed development off Bolton Road was validated on March 17. All supporting documents – including a statement of community involvement – can be found on the Bradford Council website, where members of the public can comment on the application.

"In advance of our submission, we wrote to over 4,000 homes and businesses in Silsden and set-up a dedicated website where residents could submit feedback over a four-week period. We look forward to working with the local authority and the community to progress this exciting development and deliver high-quality new housing."