Friday, 4 August 2017

Ancient and modern: a quaint clash along Sykes Lane

The Banks development of three, four and five-bedroom houses on the former timber yard between the canal and Sykes Lane has sparked fears for one of Silsden's oldest hedgerows. Developer Harron Homes' marketing suite borders part of the treasured lane, which was known to exist in 1565 and possibly long before then, giving access to early field systems. 
It appears from newspaper reports that Harron has permission to remove parts of the Sykes Lane hedgerow in order to install boundary fences of new homes. The clash between old and new can be seen above where the lane borders Albert Square. Harron is building right up to the old hedgerow.  
MP John Grogan and district and town councillors have stepped in to try to find a compromise that will save threatened parts of the hedgerow. Leeds-based Harron, which in its marketing material described Silsden as a "quaint town," has been quoted as sharing residents' desire to preserve the heritage of The Banks area. 
 Just under 50 homes are being built at The Banks.
The route in and out of the development is from Keighley Road between Mill Banks on the left and Albert Square on the right opposite the old corn mill.
 The Banks site viewed from the canal.
More new housing has been completed on the former Grouse pub car park between Keighley Road and Sykes Lane. 
The old pub itself has been converted into homes as part of the development. Plans for some 400 new homes, including The Banks, could swell Silsden's population to more than 9,000. It is around 8,000 at the moment. The population was 1,300 in 1801 and had grown to 4,960 by 1911. It was relatively static over the next 50 years but has accelerated since the 1970s. Plans for new housing were outlined in my posts of April 10th, 2016.