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Covering the villages of Wilsden and Harecroft


Wilsden Parish Council is delighted to have been awarded the Foundation Level Award from Local Council Award Scheme  run by the National Association of Local Councils with the Yorkshire Association of Local Councils. Please see Latest News.

This Week in 1916

1st-2nd February – Nine German Zeppelins crossed the English Channel, with the aim of bombing Liverpool. The airships were scattered by fog, and failed to reach their target. Instead, they dropped hundreds of bombs across the West Midlands, killing sixty-seven civilians. As they returned to Germany, one of the Zeppelins was struck by Dutch anti-aircraft fire, and was brought down in the North Sea. Responding to distress lights, the English trawler ‘King Stephen’ rushed to help. The Zeppelin’s Captain offered Captain William Martin gold if he would rescue all eighteen of the stranded crew. However, with only nine unarmed men aboard, the King Stephen’s crew would easily have been overpowered and “set adrift in their own boats” as the first-mate later recounted. Instead, Captain Martin took the decision to abandon the German airmen to their fate, later saying that “Our safety was certain where we were but our liberty, once they boarded, was not worth a penny”. None of the Zeppelin crew survived. Germany labelled Captain Martin a war-criminal for his actions, featuring him in anti-British propaganda. Even in Britain there were those who questioned his actions, despite support from dignitaries such as the Bishop of London. Martin never sailed again, and died in March 1917, aged just 45. His grandson, speaking in 2014, believed that Captain Martin had suffered from PTSD after the incident, and it was this stress that had caused his heart to fail.


Gilbert, M First World War

Askwith, R. (ed.) A History of the Great War in 100 Moments

Longman Chronicle of the Twentieth Century

Wilsden is a mill village with a population of over 4,000 that is situated 6 miles west of Bradford, West Yorkshire. The village is of ancient origin that was mainly a farming community until the growth of the textile industry in the early 19th century. The village still retains many buildings from this period and the centre of Wilsden was made a Conservation Area in 1977. More information on the Conservation Area and the historic buildings in the parish is included.

Harecroft is smaller village west of Wilsden on the road towards Cullingworth. Wilsden Station was on the outskirts of Harecroft and although the railway closed in 1964 the course of the old track has been redeveloped as the Great Northern Railway Trail for walking, cycling and horse riding. More details can be found at www.bronte-country.com/great-northern-railway-trail.html
The parish council area also includes the small hamlet of Hallas Bridge and the spectacular Goit Stock waterfalls.

Wilsden is on a north facing slope with lowest point above sea level being 115 m (375 ft) at the boundary with Harden and the highest point being 270 m (885 ft) at the boundary with Thornton. The area includes many excellent walks, more details of which are given in special map published by Wilsden Village Society in 2004.

For more information on where we are, the history of the village and some of the historic buildings in the area please follow the links. We have also included a number of views of both the Wilsden and Harecroft area

The allotment belt in Wilsden is situated behind St Matthew's Church, Main St. Both full and half plots are provided and currently there is a waiting list.

The responsibility for the provision of allotments was passed to Wilsden Parish Council when we were established. The management of the Wilsden Allotments transferred to the Parish Council on April 1st, 2005. The day to day operation of the allotments continues to lie with Wilsden Gardening Association under a long term agreement.

For information about tenancy of allotments please go to the Wilsden Garden Association website http://www.wilsdengardeningassociation.com/allotments or contact the Association at the WGA Hut next to St Matthew's Church on Sunday mornings between 10 am and 12 (closed December and January) or through one of the committee members. The Allotment Secretaries are Debbie and Andy Ellison: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Bradford, like all other local planning authorities, is required to produce a Local Development Plan for the whole district that sets down the policies and strategies that will apply in areas such as housing and employment. This Local Plan will run from 2015 to 2030 and is expected to be finally in place from early 2016. It is based upon detailed evidence of the housing and employment needs for the district and the necessary infrastructure required to support these activities. The Local Plan consists of a Core Strategy document that sets down the overall policies supported by a number of detailed planning documents. The evidence gathering started in 2008 and a number of the supplementary documents have been published from 2009 onwards. The Local Plan was originally called the Local Development Framework (LDF) and as the plan has taken so long to be completed there have been a number of changes to national planning guidelines during this development period.

The Core Strategy document sets down proposals for the minimum number of new houses in individual areas, such as Wilsden, along with the principles by which any revisions could be made to policies such as the Green Belt around our village. It does not make any specific proposals for particular areas where new housing could be located within Wilsden. For Wilsden and Harecroft it is proposed that 200 new houses will be required.

The development of the Local Plan has involved extensive consultation of the residents of the district and the Parish Council has been an active participant in this process both in terms of commenting on specific policies and updating the residents of the village about how these policies may affect them. We have made a number of specific proposals about how the policies of the Core Strategy could in our view be improved for Wilsden and Harecroft. Our formal written comments on the last published draft document are reproduced.

Bradford Council published their final version of the draft Local Plan Core Strategy in December 2014 and this was considered at a Public Inspection in March 2015. At this Public Inspection Bradford presented their policies to a government appointed Planning Inspector over a 10 day period and consultees had an opportunity raise their concerns. Parish councillors attended all the sessions dealing with policies of concern to Wilsden and spoke at the majority of these. The Inspector will use a written report on the Local Plan in autumn 2015 and propose necessary amendments. There will then be further opportunity for consultation before the final Local Plan is adopted. This page will be periodically updated to account of changes.