LETTER: Allowing developments on remote pristine sites would not be conducive to health and well-being

Over the past few days we have seen our country burn, showing us the stark reality of the climate emergency we face with urgent action now needed at all levels.

We can be reassured that Craven District Council acted on our behalf locally after declaring a climate emergency in 2019, but it is unclear what council policies have changed.

Craven District Council’s Local Plan 2012-2032 includes plans to build new housing estates on greenfield sites away from workplaces and facilities and not accessible by public transport, increasing car dependency.

On one of these greenfield sites in Marton Road, Gargrave, there is a planning application for 36 homes awaiting decision. Hundreds of written objections have been submitted, many of which are based on the fact that this is a car dependent site that is too far from facilities or a bus stop and train station to be considered accessible and has no sidewalks for safe pedestrian or disabled access.

We all have the right to live in an inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable place, but unfortunately the Marton Road site does not meet any of these United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. It may be the eleventh hour for both Craven District Council and the climate crisis, but it’s not too late for council to make decisions that will enhance its legacy and minimize the damage to the health and well-being of ourselves and future generations.

Helene Johnson