A PLANNING committee will be advised to refuse an application to install glamping pods and shepherd huts on a rural site near Keighley when it convenes for its first meeting on Thursday.
The plans for a new camping site at Heather Lodge, Back Shaw Lane near Harden Moor will be decided by the Bradford District Planning Panel at a meeting that will discuss applications from across the District.
Members will be urged to refuse the application for a number of reasons, including the potential impact a new tourist site could have on neighbouring Harden Moor.
The Panel, made up of Councillors from different political parties, replaces the existing Bradford Planning Panel and Keighley and Shipley Planning Panels.
Neither of those two panels have met since March, when the Covid Pandemic caused all physical Council meetings to be cancelled.
Since then any contentious planning decisions have been made by the Regulatory and Appeals Committee – which normally focuses on major applications.
Thursday’s meeting, which will be held online, will see members decide on a number of planning applications, from a new house on Airedale College Road in Undercliffe to a planned upgrade to a phone mast at Gilstead Waterworks.
Most of the applications going before the committee have been recommended for approval.
However, planning officers have raised concerns about the glamping application – submitted by Mr and Mrs Dowse.
The plans are for a field next to Heather Lodge, a rural farm house between Keighley and Harden. The scheme would see two glamping pods and two shepherd’s huts installed at the site, along with a parking area with four car space and a building for use as a shared cooking facility.
21 people have written to the Council to support the plans, saying it will boost local tourism.
But Harden Parish Council had objected to the plan.
A similar application for the site had been withdrawn after planning officers raised concerns over the lack of detail about how many people, and vehicles, would use the site at any one time.
The new application is for fewer glamping pods – the original included five pods.
A report by officers that will go before the committee says: “There continues to be a lack of information about the proposals.
“There is no indication as regards whether the site would be in use all year round, or only seasonally. How waste or litter is to be controlled is not addressed, and Harden Village Council expresses concerns about how an increased risk of wildfire spreading to the moor from barbecues/camp fires etc would be managed.”
“The questions are deemed important given the location of the site in Green Belt countryside, which has poor access and is adjacent to Harden Moor which is of significant local nature conservation interest.
“It is also apparent from aerial photos that two wooden camping pods are already place in the field but there is no history of planning permission for these. It is not clear whether these existing pods are part of this application, or whether the proposed pods and huts are additional to these existing facilities.
“The development of this open field and the associated paraphernalia would result in unacceptable sprawl and in the absence of any very special circumstances is regarded as inappropriate development harmful, by definition, to the green belt.
“In addition, the proposal would intensify the use of the unmade access to the detriment of other users and would also be harmful to the landscape qualities of the area and the proposals fail to consider the adverse impact on the Harden Moor Local Wildlife Site.”