Spread a Little Happiness

We have created a short video of our very own Hilary Thomas (Addingham Vocal Days and much more !) singing ‘Spread a little Happiness’…..just to cheer us all up a little, during these difficult times.
There is much going on in this wonderful Village of ours and a real Community spirit and Hilary just wanted to make a small contribution herself.
Well done Hilary.

Click on this link below for a charming 2 minute video on YouTube and sing along (and it’s only available via this link) : https://youtu.be/SLZ5gaLyTzo

The Addingham COVID-19 Support Group is here to support you.

Hello Civic Society Members, are you making use of the support that is on offer for you?

If you, your family, friends or neighbours need any support just ring either of these numbers 01943 831758  or  07470 537421 . Don’t worry if no one answers just leave a message. 

Alternatively, if you use email, you could send a message to us at clerk@addingham-pc.gov.uk.

This isn’t just for those who are termed medically “vulnerable”, it’s support for anyone who needs it, or even for some who don’t think they need it! It’s a way to avoid everyday things that we normally take for granted like popping to the supermarket or calling in for a newspaper, things that in the current pandemic are risky for a lot of us.  We all know we can cope by ourselves but at the moment that might not be the best thing to do.

For the last month well over a hundred fantastic Addingham volunteers have been shopping, delivering prescriptions, walking dogs, cutting lawns, collecting newspapers and much more.

It works like this:

  • You ring either of these numbers, 01943 831758  or  07470 537421 and if no one answers leave a message
  • We will ring you back to see how we can help
  • We then allocate one volunteer to you
  • The two of you then keep in touch, you just let the volunteer know when you need something.

It’s as easy as that!

We can also set up someone just to ring you for a chat if you like and if you run out of cash we can handle that too, it’s not a problem.

Here are some of the lovely comments we’ve had so far:

What an operation you are running – it’s brilliant!”

“My volunteer brought me an Easter Egg on Easter Sunday!”

 “It’s very reassuring to know that there is someone local she can call on while we are so far away.”

 “Our volunteer has made a brilliant start.”

 “The system works like a dream.”

 “Our volunteer has already proved worth more than her weight in gold! We are very pleased.”

 “As well as shopping I’ll check with her at least once a week if I don’t hear from her as she’s all alone.”

 “I mowed her grass on Wednesday and have arranged to go back in a couple of weeks.”

 “She lives down the road but I had never spoken to her before – she has been so helpful.”

 We have lots of volunteers who are waiting for a call so Do Get In Touch with us.

In addition a couple of weeks ago we sent out an email about the current crisis and the support that is available in the Village and this has been reproduced below for those of you without access to email:

If you are 70+ there are volunteers from the Addingham COVID-19 Support Group waiting to help you.

 If you are 70+ we are encouraging you to stay safe by requesting a volunteer who will do your shopping for you.

The research clearly shows that shopping is one of the riskiest things we can do at the moment. However well organised the shop or supermarket is, the risk is high. 

The research also shows how vulnerable the older generation is to this virus.

 Lots of us who are over 70 are fit and able, feel quite confident to go the shops and don’t want to put on anyone, and some of us are even shopping for others, but we really are the people who should be asking for a volunteer and encouraging others to do the same.

Many folk have family members, neighbours and friends who are helping out with shopping. However if those generous people are themselves over 70 they are putting themselves at risk. Please do ask for a volunteer.

In Addingham we have a fantastic group of volunteers who are ready and able to do our shopping and errands for us. Don’t hesitate to ask. The number to contact is at the end of this article.

So where did all these volunteers come from?

In the middle of March representatives from the Parish Council, Good Neighbours and the Civic Society met to discuss how they could work together to support Addingham residents through the COVID-19 crisis. Within a week an email address and telephone number were made available for requests for help or offers of help, a leaflet was prepared, and a volunteer system set up.

Since then the Support Group has had a fantastic response and now has 150 + volunteers, many of whom are supporting residents with shopping, errands, prescriptions, dog walking, telephone calls and much more. With huge thanks to the Clarke Foley Trust we can even help with purchases if your cash supply runs out.

 We have the capacity to help many more residents so we seriously encourage you to take advantage of this local support scheme by giving us a call on:

 01943 831758  or 07470 537421  or email at  clerk@addingham-pc.go.uk.

Society Events/Meetings

Just to confirm that all Society events and Meetings have been cancelled until further notice. We will of course notify you of the new date for the rearranged AGM as soon as we can. We had to cancel our Wharfedale Male Voice Choir Concert scheduled to take place at Mount Hermon in March and there is still a ticket holder who has not come forward for a refund ! Please contact our Secretary Gill on 01943 839792 and she will sort it out. Thanks.

Financial Year End figures: 31st of March 2020.

Whilst the Society’s Annual General Meeting scheduled to take place on the 21st of this month has been postponed, we have of course still produced our Annual Finance Report as at the 31st of March. This report has been audited and signed off by the Society’s Trustees and will be distributed along with the other meeting papers when the AGM is rearranged.

Scrubs for Health Workers

You may have seen that “hospital scrubs” have been hitting the headlines over the last couple of weeks and they’ve certainly hit the headlines in Addingham. The COVID-19 Support Group was asked to help by putting out requests for fabric.

We had a huge response with material arriving daily. The plan was to pass the fabric along to the sewing groups in Ilkley and Menston. However, within the first 48 hours of making the request for fabric we’d had another request – from our own Health Centre who were also in need of scrubs. So, before passing the fabric along we decided to make sure our health centre was supplied with their own sets of scrubs.

The first challenge was to print the “official” NHS scrubs pattern. It looked quite easy until we realised it was printed on 50 A4 pages, 45 of which had to be stuck together like a jigsaw to make the paper pattern. After using much paper and numerous rolls of Sellotape we had three patterns printed and stuck together.

A few phone calls later and we had a sewing team in place, sewing machines were brought out of retirement and dusted off. Discussions resolved that, depending what was in the cupboard, the colour of cotton thread might have to change half way through a pair of trousers or a top and that the waist tie might be of a completely different and random colour. We all made use of the online tutorial for putting in a bag pocket, not something most of us do on a daily basis. So, our team of four ‘sewers’ made eights sets of scrubs, two each for four of the health professionals at the Health Centre.

We have also been able to give fabric to the Menston, Ilkley and Bradford Scrubs Sewing Groups.

Huge thanks to all the people who donated fabric, Richard Hunter Rowe for transport and pattern making, and the sewing team Jayne Hood, Pam Morgan, Fiona Walton and Gill Battarbee.

Photo courtesy of Pam Morgan

Our Environment Group May Report

It’s been a terrible spring for people but not bad at all for wildlife judging by the pictures and emails we’ve been receiving.  Here’s a round-up of some of the highlights for the latter part of April.  

Frogs and newts. The tank of tadpoles in our front garden (9 Main St) has attracted a lot of attention.  We’ve had a steady stream of visitors checking out their progress.  Although not always easy to spot there’s a common newt in there as well.  He (it is a he) will be feeding on the tadpoles but given the sheer quantity of them he’ll be unlikely to make much of a dent in the population.  Things are different in our back garden pond where tadpoles are much less numerous as they are enjoyed especially by newts and dragonfly nymphs which we have in abundance. The taddies in the tank, however, should make it all the way – back legs will be next!  Do take a look!

Trout in the becks.  I was worried we’d lost our trout populations in the becks after the extreme weather we had in February.  But we have now had two independent reports of very young fish (parr) in Church Field, three sightings of small trout in Town Beck at Burnside and two sizeable trout (15 cm), probably from last year’s cohort, in Back Beck behind Burns Hill.   We only have a small trout population in our becks compared to years gone by, so it’s a relief we’re hanging on to them! 

Birds. Woodpeckers have been both heard and seen, one heard down Low Mill Lane and another seen (great spotted) near Winebeck.  We’ve had sighting of linnets (see David Austin’s great photo) and Chris Acomb alerted us to the presence of a hen harrier circling over Main St on 15th April.  Given the persecution that hen harriers have received over recent decades on local moors we’d like to think this is a reflection of the ban imposed on shooting on Ilkley Moor last year by Bradford Council.  It could on the other hand be a random, rare one-off event! We’ll see…

Arnold Pacey has continued his recording of returning migrants listening for distinctive songs at his early morning observation station in Low Mill Lane.  He reports a chiffchaff from 22nd March, about a week earlier than normal, blackcap on the 11th April, willow warbler on the 14th April and sand martins (in the banks across the river) on the 19th April.    Anne Hodgson reports house martins busy nest building in Southfield Road. Please send your bird records to Chris at candj.acomb@blueyonder.co.uk.

Wildflowers: Cowslips are now in full bloom on the Skipton Road verge (see picture by Diane Morris) and in the Daniel Palmer Nature Reserve, and cuckoo flower/milkmaid/lady’s smock, whatever you prefer to call it, is also in flower.  It’s an important food plant for orange-tip butterflies (see below).  We have reasonable milkmaid populations in the village although sadly the ones that grow on our roadside verges are usually cut back in their prime by Bradford Council in spring.  I was hoping this year that our road verge wildflowers would be given a stay of execution but not to be!  The example pictured here is from the Silsden Road verge near the entrance to Big Meadow Drive.  It survived the blades because it was shielded by the daffodils…

Bees and butterflies:  Despite the lockdown our bees and butterflies observers,  co-ordinated by Malcolm Secrett, have been out and about walking along their transects as part of their daily exercise.  This year we’ve added three more walking routes, one that takes in the Street beyond the bypass, one that takes in our Skipton Road wildflower bank and Bracken Ghyll Golf Course and one that covers the Garden Friends’ pocket gardens along Main St.  This is the season when bumblebee queens are active looking for nesting sites. Especially prominent so far have been buff-tailed queens, but we’ve also had red-tailed, white-tailed and tree bee queens along with many solitary bees (see picture of mining bee) reported.  Maurice White (Skipton) provides expert advice on bees through our WhatsApp group.  Thanks to him!

The warm sunny weather has also been good for butterflies.  We had lots of Peacocks and Small Tortoiseshells early on and more recently Orange Tips have been especially common. It’s the male that has the very distinctive orange tips.  The female is mainly white and could be confused with the small-white butterfly, but at this time of year the small white is probably a female orange tip!

Diane Morris is our butterfly advisor.  She not only provides guidance on identification but also collates our village records and passes them on to Butterfly Conservation UK so they can be added to the national database. Thanks to her! And please send your butterfly sightings to Diane at diane.barrie@yahoo.co.uk.  Include date and location!

Hedgehogs: are now very active especially down at Low Mill and in Burns Hill where they are well-looked after!  The males will be roaming quite widely now looking for a mate.  Please continue to send in your sightings to Rick.

Roe Deer: have been seen near the Street independently by both Anne Clarke and Anne Hodgson. There seems to be a family group of three there.

Bats: are also now very active, foraging after dusk.  We have some records, but no detailed understanding yet of distribution or species composition in the village.  So we’re starting up a bat group. Once we’ve escaped the lockdown we’ll organise things properly but in the meantime we’d like to hear from anyone who can provide us with sightings as well as anyone who would like to join the group.  We have electronic bat echo meters we can use for identification.

And now a Competition !

At our Environment Group steering committee meeting recently we decided to organise a village wildlife photo competition.  It’s intended to help everyone through this very difficult period and, at the same time, help us build a photographic record of our local wildlife.

We want the competition to be as informal as possible.  But we do need a few rules.  All pictures must be taken within the parish and include:

  • Name of photographer
  • Age, if 11 or under (we will have a children’s competition running alongside)
  • Date of picture (must be this year)
  • Precise location of subject (address, geographic description or grid reference)
  • Picture title (including species name(s) and/or geographic features)
  • Sorry, but we can only accept electronic images…

Except for cropping, digital adjustments should not be made. We don’t want misrepresentations of nature as the pictures will be kept and held in our village archive to be used for future reference.

The deadline for submission is 31st May 2020 and the theme is “Spring”. 

 There will be categories for:

  • Bees (any kind, not just bumblebees) (Judge: Maurice White)
  • Butterflies (Judge: Diane Morris)
  • Birds (Judge: Chris Acomb)
  • All other animals (mammals, amphibians, fish, other invertebrates) (Judge: Rick Battarbee)
  • Wildflowers (Judges: Nicky Vernon and Heather Burrow)
  • Landscape (views within the parish or seen from the parish) (Judge: Geraldine Thompson)

We also invite as many children as possible to take part.  There will be a separate competition for children aged 11 or under. And there will be prizes for the overall winners (best in show!) to be judged by a couple of our resident photography experts, Harry Jevons and John Fontana.

Please send your photographs to aeg@addingham.info

Walking in and around Addingham: by Jonathan White Civic Society Vice President

‘Most of you will be aware of the great number of walks we have in the village, of varying length and difficulty. We are fortunate that going in any direction will provide excellent opportunities.

During these austere days and weeks of likely lockdown and self-isolation (I am penning this piece on 9 April – hopefully by the time of reading there may possibly be glimmers of light at the end of the tunnel) we remain in the stormy seas of uncharted waters but I would like to try and lift spirits by recommending several specific walking possibilities. There are sufficient variables, and spaces, to maintain self-distancing, exercise efficiently and improve our emotional well-being all at the same time.

The village itself, though not entirely flat and easy to get about, offers purposeful walks to the Co-op, paper shop, medical centre and pharmacy, and it is not difficult to devise a circular route in the process. This may include the church field, the old sawmill path between the Co-op and Bolton Road, the Garth, so central to the village and yet such an important public greenspace. To the west the lower section of Turner Lane and the nature reserve on the other side of Silsden Road are equally full of the joys of spring.

Public footpaths remain open and are well signposted for the greater part. Yellow waymarkers (arrows on discs) will help too. We have a good relationship with the Countryside Service, maintained by Bradford Council, and regularly keep in touch about footpath issues in Addingham. Where they can they are always willing to oblige.

The Dales Way footpath arrives in Addingham from Sandbeds on the old Ilkley Road, then heads through Low Mill towards the church field. From the end of Bark Lane a delightful stretch follows a much improved path high above the river (take care!) before dropping down to High Mill. Crossing the suspension bridge from the east end of Bark Lane into North Yorkshire will afford additional walking possibilities, if only to the quiet road from Bolton Abbey to Ilkley via Nesfield, then returning by the same route.

High Mill may also be approached from Bolton Road and High Mill Lane. Passing Hamiltons and the caravan park, the Dales Way follows the river through fields, where lambs are gambolling and from where kingfisher, heron, dipper and other bird species can frequently be spotted. (We see them often!).

Back Beck Lane is accessible from several routes off Main Street. Sugar Hill is a delight to walk along, new growth evident and birdsong especially pleasurable in the absence of human noise and interference. The path around the school field has been opened up to provide a wonderful wildlife habitat, thanks to the sterling efforts of the village’s Environment Group, and a further well-signed detour can be made into the Winebeck fields to the north, or east through a narrow snicket into Springfield Mount.

To the south and west of the village the walking terrain can be somewhat steeper if none the less pleasurable. Take your time! Crossing the bypass should not present quite the same hazards as in normal circumstances, with less traffic – but still take care! If the moor tops are not the intended target, and let’s face it, for many they are too arduous to reach on foot, there are several routes that can be devised. The Street is a good turning point and Cocking (Cocken) Lane is a little further south but achievable without venturing further uphill. Straight or Moorside Lane is always pleasant to walk along if you can make it that far!

To help with any walking you may propose, the internet, as ever these days, will be a source of inspiration. Google maps may be a starting point and there are lots of other online possibilities if you care to search them. Locally, our own Civic Society website has a section on Books and Publications and I recommend the following:                         

  • Walks Around Addingham by Don Barrett, our President
  • Country walks around Addingham by Alison Armstrong

                                           (some 30 years since first published but still of interest)

  • Flowers of Church Field by Arnold Pacey
  • Manor Garth by Arnold Pacey

Other publications of a more historical or photographic nature are also on the list. Why not follow the Blue Plaques Trail, also by Don Barrett? For more information please contact Don on 830776, Steve Lloyd, who looks after our books, on 830853, or myself on 07752 421341.

If you prefer then by all means drop one of us an email:

  • Don: donbar01@gmail.com
  • Steve: steveqlloyd@hotmail.com
  • Myself: whitejr@btinternet.com

Or talk to any of the Society Trustees (see Membership Card).

One of the few blessings at this time is the arrival of spring with its new life and growth, improving weather and warmth, and the prospect, however distant, of better times to come. Let’s rejoice where we can!

I sincerely hope I’ve not been ‘teaching grandmothers to suck eggs’ in these deliberations and stating the obvious for all of you! Whatever outcomes lie ahead of us in this coronavirus crisis, please stay safe and enjoy your daily walking!’

Village Photo Archive

You really must take a look at Addingham’s new Photo Archive via the Village website and for your information here is the introduction to the archive from the website:

‘Welcome to the archive of pictures and other media showing Addingham across the years.

These items have been collected over many years with the earliest by local photographer and historian Hilda Holmes followed by Kate Mason and others. Many of the more recent items are by Don Barrett.

If you have any comments or suggestions on a particular image please use the ‘Feedback’ tab on the image page (not forgetting to include your email address so that we may contact you). If you have any photos that you would be willing to be added to the archive please email Don at : donbar01@gmail.com 

The Photo archive is run by volunteers of the Heritage Group of the Society’.

Click on this link to access an amazing library of photographs:

https://photoarchive.addingham.info/index.php?WINID=1589283009250

Village Maps

You are all very familiar with the two large wooden framed Village sketch maps located outside the Old School House and on Bark Lane, near the steps leading down to the suspension bridge. Well, we are pleased to report that we have just taken delivery of two new maps to replace the two existing old ones. The preparation work on the frame on Bark Lane is complete and we will be installing the new map in the next few days. Unfortunately, the frame outside the Old School House needs quite a bit of tlc (!) but we will get round to it as soon as we can….

Church Street Telephone Kiosk

You will all be familiar with the old BT Telephone Kiosk situated on Church Street, which the Society converted a couple of years ago. In the light of the current COVID-19 crisis we have decided to temporarily close the kiosk. The books will be stored and the kiosk has been given a thorough Spring Clean ! We know it is a popular ‘book swap’ facility and a Village Information Point and we will certainly reopen it as soon as we can. In the meantime a quick thank-you to Carole and Malcolm Armitage and Jacquie Teasdale the ‘kiosks neighbours’ for their help and support.

The Cancellation of forthcoming Society Events/Meetings.

Well, these are indeed strange and somewhat surreal times that we are going through at the moment, but the good news is that we are seeing our Community responding brilliantly and rallying round. To highlight this, see below for details of a Village wide support initiative launched by a number of Groups/Organisations in the Village, with the backing of our Parish Council. You should by now have received a ‘Support Group Leaflet’ with contact details for those wanting help and for those who want to volunteer to help. If you haven’t received yours then could you drop a quick mail to:         chairman@addinghamcivicsociety.co.uk

  • Just to confirm these contact details: Mobile: 07470 537421 and 01943 831758 (answer machine) or email our Parish Clerk, Jane Markham at:

clerk@addingham-pc.gov.uk   and you can go to our Parish Council website for Parish News: https://www.addingham-pc.gov.uk/category/parish-news/

  • The above mentioned leaflet is also available on the Society’s website, just click on this link:

http://www.addinghamcivicsociety.co.uk/

  • Keep up too date with developments with the Coronavirus by clicking on this link to the NHS website:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

  • And there is lots of important stuff on the Bradford Council website as well:

https://www.bradford.gov.uk/health/health-advice-and-support/coronavirus-covid-19-advice/

As far as your Society is concerned we have cancelled all our Monthly Members Meetings until further notice. Our AGM was to be held immediately before next month’s Members Meeting on the 21st of May but not now ! Under the terms of our Constitution we should re-arrange the AGM before the end of this calendar year and when we do we will of course give the appropriate 28 days notice.

We have also cancelled our Spring Fayre scheduled for the 18th of April, our Environment Weekend on the 16th and 17th of May and finally (for now !) our Summer Trip on the 10th of July.

Society ‘business’ will continue as far as possible with the Trustees conducting ‘it’s affairs’ remotely, adopting the appropriate technology !!

If you need any further information or have any concerns generally then drop a note to your Chairman.

Our latest Community Award

As you know after having launched this scheme just over 2 years ago a number of clubs and organisations have already benefited from an award and we are delighted to tell you about our latest recipients. They are Addingham Scouts who have been raising funds for an amazing trip to the International Scout Centre in Switzerland. We thought we would let you read a section of their application, submitted a few weeks ago: 

This July, 30 Scouts from Addingham are representing the UK at the International Scout Centre in Kandersteg, Switzerland with planning for the trip getting underway in April 2019. When we made the decision to go, we wanted to make sure that the trip would be as inclusive as possible so we agreed to cost the trip in a way that would be affordable to as many young people as we could. The families of the young people attending signed up on the basis that they would commit to fund raise half of the cost collectively so the burden was not solely on the parents, giving those from a low income family the chance to come too. 

Another way in which we have tried to make the trip as inclusive as we could was to take an extra adult with us to give extra support to those young people with additional needs, and doing this has made it possible for two young people from the village with learning disabilities to come and be part of the trip too. The cost for the extra adult is £600 and this is part of the collective fundraising that we are undertaking. 

Needless to say the Society’s Awards Committee unanimously approved this application which has also been fully endorsed by the Trustees. Whilst at the moment the maximum donation in any one year is £500, on this occasion we have agreed to the £600.

This trip was organised for July this year but of course it has been cancelled. We are delighted to hear that it will take place next year, when our cheque for £600 will be presented. Fantastic.

Our Environment Group April Report

After a magnificent start to the year with poster displays in the Hub, our Mass Unwrap event at the Co-op, our work preparing the School wetland site and planting over 2000 trees, it’s a shame we can’t now be out and about. 

Our planned village spring clean with the Scouts at the end of March had to be cancelled and we should now be starting work on our village wildflower sites, digging out pernicious broad-leaved docks, planting wildflower plug-plants and arranging with Bradford Council exactly where not to cut the grass!

We were also gearing up to get our bee and butterfly recording under way from the beginning of this month, building on the impressive start we made, thanks to our volunteers, last year.  Our new project on bat recording, due to start this year, is now also on hold.  Just as sadly we have been forced to cancel our annual Environment Weekend scheduled for May 16/17th .

Whilst we have cancelled our formal bee and butterfly reporting many of our volunteers will be walking along their allotted village transects on a regular basis for exercise and enjoyment, looking out for wildlife as they go.  

This is a special time of year when queen bees are looking for nests, butterflies (especially small tortoiseshells and peacocks) are on the wing, curlews and other birds are busy, celandines, cowslips and golden saxifrages are flowering and hedgehogs are active. 

So why not enjoy spring on your walks as much as possible, look out for wildflowers and wildlife and keep a diary.  Even better send Diane Morris (diane.barrie@yahoo.co.uk) your butterfly sightings, Chris Acomb (candj.acomb@blueyonder.co.uk) your bird sightings, and Rick or Gill Battarbee (r.battarbee@ucl.ac.uk ; gillbattarbee@gmail.com) your hedgehog and other mammal sightings. 

We just need to know (i) what you saw and how many (but only if you’re confident in your identification); (ii) where it was (as close as possible); (iii) the date (and time of day); along with any comment you’d like to make about behaviour (flying, feeding, nesting etc).

As long as we follow Government guidelines we’re also allowed to go to our allotments. We have two allotments, one on the Newtown site, where we’ve just built a pond and one on the Lower Stamp Hill site that we use as a tree sapling nursery.  If you’d like to visit and do some work as part of your daily exercise please contact Rick in the first instance.

Can we suggest that if you have a lawn, leave some (or all!) of it uncut to allow wildflowers to grow, flower and set seed.  It might look like only grass but if it’s anything like our lawn there will be quite a lot of wildflowers in there, not just daisies, dandelions and buttercups but probably things like vetch, speedwell, cuckoo flower and self-heal.  Let the flowers grow to provide nectar and pollen for pollinators, and enjoy watching (and identifying) insects that stop by. If you don’t like the idea of dedicating your whole lawn to wildflowers you could simply leave a few patches to grow on (see our two tear-dropped shaped patches on our lawn from last year).

Watching and enjoying nature is great therapy!  Try it!  It will help us through the coming weeks and months.

Arts@Addingham Group

Despite the current situation, development of the Arts@Addingham group continues apace. The group now has a Twitter feed (@ArtsAtAddingham) and will shortly be launching their website (see next newsletter/Twitter). Obviously the planned arts festival in October (9th-11th) is a little up in the air, but the group are still planning events for later in the year at the moment. Until then, we’ll be supporting local artists in whatever way we can. We’re hoping to launch three projects over the period between now and summer: our artists census project, to connect together artists of all kinds across the village; our piano landscape project, to map out music across the village; and our lithophone project, to build a public instrument out of Yorkshire stone. More info on these in the next newsletter, but in the meantime, do either contact us through Twitter, or via email on arts@addingham.net

Many thanks to those who have already been in contact.

Update on Bradford Council’s Planning Policy

First some good news, the Council has formally adopted The Homes and Neighbourhoods – A Guide to Designing in Bradford as a ‘Supplementary Planning Document (SPD)’, which developers and house builders need to take account of when submitting planning applications.

The Council’s purpose in developing the guide is to encourage a step change in the quality of housing in the district. It seeks to make developments green, safe and well connected with places for children to play and streets designed to limit traffic speeds and give priority to pedestrians and cyclists. It also encourages house builders towards low carbon development solutions. The guide is very detailed with practical examples of best practice around the country.

The Society’s Environment Group were pleased to see some of the comments that we and others made in the consultation on the draft Guide, taken on board. The sections on sustainable development were strengthened and the biodiversity guidance is very welcome. The SPD applies to small new developments as well as large, and to the renovation and re-use of existing buildings. Now we need developers to take heed!

You may recall that last September the Civic Society Planning Team and Environment Group also sent  comments to Bradford Council’s consultation on ‘preferred options’ for the partial review of the Core Strategy policies in the district-wide Local Plan. 

The full Statement of Consultation Report won’t be published before June, however, the latest edition of the Council’s planning policy newsletter gives a flavour of some of the key issues raised, most of which will come as no surprise:

  • Climate Change – the Core Strategy should set a clearer path for achieving a substantial reduction in carbon use.
  • Green Belt – comments were split between developers and site promoters seeking further Green Belt releases and strong community opposition to any change to the Green Belt.
  • Employment & Jobs – there needs to be a clearer narrative between job forecasts and housing growth, with economic forecasts variously considered too low or over ambitious.
  • Transport & Movement – more joined up thinking on growth, sustainability and climate change.
  • Housing – significant split in opinion between those supportive of a reduction in housing numbers and others seeking an uplift in housing numbers to support growth and the delivery of non-brownfield sites.
  • Environment – overall support for the requirement of biodiversity net gain in development and generally positive feedback in relation to the proposed new healthy places policy.
  • Holme Wood – a substantial number of comments against the proposed Holme Wood Sustainable Urban Extension within South East Bradford.  

The next stage of public consultation on the Local Plan will be on the Council’s ‘preferred options’ for the Allocations Development Plan Document (DPD). This plan will set out specific sites for housing, employment, local greenspace etc. Originally planned for January/February, this consultation was pushed back to June (and in current circumstances will almost certainly be pushed back further).

Bradford will consult on the Core Strategy Partial Review at the same time. The Council states that this will provide a clearer understanding of how updated strategic and key policies connect to allocations and preferred options for housing, employment and other uses.

Addingham Civic Society