A West Yorkshire council today rejected plans aimed at extending a quarry into access land.

Bradford Council’s executive threw out proposals for test drilling on Harden Moor, near Cullingworth. Neighbouring Midgeham Cliffe End Quarry wanted to explore the land with a view to taking out gritstone for a major housing development in Keighley.

More than 1,000 signatures were collected opposing the drilling on the moor, owned by Bradford Council.

Residents of nearby villages had enlisted the help of the Open Spaces Society. The society’s general secretary Kate Ashbrook said: “We have called on Bradford Council to abandon any plans of selling this wonderful moor. 

“This stretch of land is of immense importance to local people and visitors. It is of particular value being a significant area of open space close to urban communities, who need this vital breathing space.

“It has been recorded as open-access land under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, and the public has the legal right to walk over every square inch of it and to enjoy it for quiet recreation. It would be a tragedy if it were to be sacrificed for quarrying.”

The council’s Shipley area committee had passed the decision to the full executive. Bradford Council’s countryside and rights of way service also opposed the plan.

Midgeham Cliffe End Quarry is owned by developers Skipton Properties, a major housebuilder in the Keighley area.

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