Housing plans threaten Bronte country
Published 28/12/2011 | 05:00
THE windswept Yorkshire moors which provided the backdrop for Emily Bronte's classic novel Wuthering Heights are being threatened by proposals for hundreds of new houses.
Bradford Council is considering proposals to build new homes and a new road network in the bleak countryside which inspired Emily and her sisters Anne and Charlotte to write some of the most famous novels in English literature.
The sisters lived with their father Patrick, an Anglican curate, in Haworth, an isolated village at the top of the West Yorkshire moors.
Today Haworth has just 2,000 residents but the population is swelled by the hundreds of thousands of daytrippers who visit each year on a literary pilgrimage to the Bronte Parsonage Museum.
But under the new plans, 600 new houses could be built in the village by 2028 and residents are outraged. John Huxley, chairman of Haworth Parish Council said residents would fight to preserve the iconic landscape.
According to the plans outlined in the Council's Local Development Framework document, urban areas will be extended first to meet the housing targets.
It also highlights the need to protect Haworth and Bronte Country's tourist industry and cultural significance.
Mr Huxley says the council's assurances are "in direct contradiction of what they want to do".
"I have seen a plan and some of the green space in our valley is under threat," he said.