Category Archives: Wharefedale

Keeping Menston & Guiseley separate. Join campaign walk on Sunday!


If the Ings fields between Menston and Guiseley are developed then Menston and Guiseley will have merged!

Menston and Guiseley Greenbelt Protection Group are having a day of action rally, walking the site under threat, which is just off the A65, opposite the BP petrol station. Join them at 12.30pm on Sunday 12 April. Meet where the Mire Beck crosses the road. There will be a banner you cannot miss! However, bring your own banner too to carry on the walk – the more the better.

The rally is organised together with WARD (Wharfedale & Airedale Review Development). On this day Community Voice on Planning are preparing a National day of action to protest at the loss of greenbelt between settlements which is leading to urban sprawl and a reduction in social standards across the nation.

We in Menston are one of many unique (and we are unique, aren’t we?)  communities which are threatened with becoming just part of an urban sprawl.

One of the major factors for preserving Green Belt according to Government guidelines is to maintain the distinctiveness of named settlements by keeping the greenbelt buffer between them. Building on the Ing fields, apart from the fact they are Green Belt, will effectively join the two settlements. If they are built on they are gone for good!

Let’s show Leeds where the real Menston/Guiseley boundary is and should be preserved as a slice of green between the two settlements.

Join the walk!

Recently Menston village was represented at the Inspectors examination in public of the Bradford Core Strategy for housing over the coming 15 years and much angst was raised by many communities around Bradford over the planning rules which state that Local Planning Authorities should be seen to cooperate over the development of their core strategies where these impact on neighbouring authorities. Those present could see the results of no such cooperation as sites are coming forwards for development across both sides of Menston that will result in the settlements of Guiseley and Menston becoming a single sprawl.

We may be forced to, once more, become victims of circumstances if the green space between Menston and Guiseley is further eroded and do remember that at the moment, this comes at the end of many years of heavy developments, where no additional communications or social infrastructure have been put in place.

The settlement boundaries between Menston and Guiseley need to be highlighted as Leeds’ planners have included Moorland Crescent and Bradford Road, Menston, in the major settlement extending from Guiseley, thus making the Ings Fields look like wonderful infill to them! This is a political boundary not a settlement or geographic boundary. The settlement boundary runs along the back gardens of Moorland Crescent Menston following Mire Beck.

Any questions or bright ideas, email Liz Kirkpatrick at or phone 01943 875640.

Menston village: battle won, Bradford MDC war continues; call to support local shops; save the Children’s Centre; St Mary’s pupils continue to inspire

Chloe Tindale, one of two St Mary's Menston pupils who met Prince William at a Diana Award 'Inspire Day, with Zulu children in South Africa earlier this year

Chloe Tindale, one of two St Mary’s Menston pupils who met Prince William at a Diana Award ‘Inspire Day’, with Zulu children in South Africa earlier this year. Follow the link at the bottom of this post for the full story.

Menston villagers have been celebrating one important battle won to keep the character of our lovely Wharfedale village and its surrounding countryside: the plan to erect a gigantic wind turbine behind High Royds, twice the height of the iconic clock tower there, was refused permission. The fight against development on the Derry Hill and Bingley Road sites, which apart from destroying the character of our village would lead to more flooding and increased sewerage flowing down the street, according to the best expert evidence, continues.

Steve Ellams, Roger Livesey and Alan Elsegood make the case with banners and T-shirts outside City Hall before Steve's presentation

Chairman of the Menston Community Association Steve Ellams, left, with Secretary Alan Elsegood and Menston resident Roger Livesey (centre) outside City Hall before Steve’s presentation of a petition signed by members of communities in Wharfedale whose representatives joined the Menston team inside the Council Chamber for the presentation

It is understood that the Parish Council intends to reply to the dreadful letter received from Cllr Warburton, the letter being greeted with disgust and disbelief at the Menston Community Association meeting on Wednesday 4 December.

Poster for 'Save our Greenbelt'


Click here to read the presentation ‘Save our Greenbelt’ given to the full Bradford Council on Tuesday 10 December by Steve Ellams, Chairman of the Menston Community Association.


Support local shops

The need to support local shops and businesses was an important topic at the meeting and a suggestion of the need for some kind of campaign was greeted with approval. Parish Cllr Sue Rix said that there was an urgent need for more, and more suitable, notice boards around the village, promoting local business being one function of them; this suggestion was greeted with approval. Among comments from the floor was “Why people pay more for inferior produce when our local greengrocer brings fresh from the market every morning is beyond me”. Another said they were glad to buy meat there, supplied from Burley.

A Menston Christmas celebration next year?

A suggestion from the floor was that there was a need to set up small working groups to move forward this and other projects proposed, among them a village Christmas celebration event based around better Christmas lights next year. Comments from villagers that “It is really upsetting that I have to go to another village for such an event when we used to have one in Menston” were related from the floor.

MCA Chairman Steve Ellams said that there would be a ‘bucket collection’ at next year’s Menston Car Show (note the countdown to it on the right has now reached 4 months!) and funds raised would go towards the Christmas event.

Fighting children’s centre closure

Another important battle being mounted is against the closure of the Menston and Burley Children’s Centre, with its magnificent ‘new’ facility behind Menston library. A petition is circulating and available to sign in shops around the village.

St Mary’s inspire

More inspiring news continues to come out of the excellent high school in the village, St Mary’s, from excellence in sport to meetings with Prince William. Read about it on a page giving more details.

Menston still considering options to fight inappropriate housing; more attention to youth in coming year; Remembrance


Click this para to see Menston Community Association Chairman’s comment on Bradford Council announcement (11 Nov) on future housing development

Click on any of the following titles to go direct to the story below Continuing fight against inappropriate housing
Youth project
Menston Car Show 2014
Menston Remembering WW1
Menston Remembrance Service 11 Nov
MCA section on this site

Fighting inappropriate housing developments

Menston village, still smarting from the latest ill treatment at the hands of Bradford Council, is considering a number of options to stop the building of houses on Derry Hill and Bingley Road, which all the evidence suggests will result in increased flooding in the village. The Parish Council has very diplomatically asked for “advice” on how they should “respond to residents, current or potential, who are contemplating the purchase of property on a site affected by seasonal springs”, given that the Parish Council has a Duty of Care  to its residents. Click to see Duty of Care letter

As might have been expected, much of the first meeting of the Menston Community Association (MCA) under recently elected Chairman Steve Ellams was given over to discussions about the proposed housing developments, but a suggestion from the floor that the MCA should put projects to involve youth as a top priority during Steve’s four year term of office was greeted with some enthusiasm by those attending.

Youth project to introduce older residents to the wonders of computers and internet?

A specific project, to involve youngsters in ‘teaching’ older members of the community how to use a computer and internet, is being investigated as a beginning. It is known that when older people who are averse to computers see the wonders of communicating with family far away, on Skype or email, they are often converted and eager to learn how to use the technology. Youngsters are surely the people to show them.

The project idea was prompted when it was learned that some funding might be available for such a project. In fact the deadline to make an application is this week – too little time – so an extension is being sought. In any case, if enough young people are interested in it then a way will be found to make it happen.

If any youngster between 11 and 19 years would be interested to become involved in this project get in touch with the MCA Chairman Steve Ellams, email

Menston Car Show scope broadened to engage the 20 to 40 year olds

There is another generation which is not so well catered for in Menston – the 20 to 40 year olds. A start might be made to engage with them with the proposed bi-annual Menston Car Show, the first of which is scheduled for 5 May, the first Bank Holiday,  next year. Super cars, rally cars and other high performance vehicles are being added to the classic vehicles we saw at the Jubilee celebrations last year to broaden the appeal.


Menston remembering WW1

Cllr Dale Smith told the meeting that plans were underway for Menston to mark the 100 years since the start of the First World War. Many different events are proposed throughout the year. We will endeavour to cover each of them as information is made available.


Remembrance Service 11th Nov 2013

There will be a Remembrance Service outside the Kirklands Community Centre, Main Street, on Monday 11 November. It will begin at about 10.45am.


Helping Menston Community Association to communicate with residents

Although the ‘official’ Menston website is now working, in a way, it is understood that the possibilities are limited. In this situation a section of this website is being made available to the MCA. So, although the site will generally remain completely independent of any organisations in the village, items appearing under the menu heading ‘Menston Community Assocation’ will in future be supplied by the MCA and be published unaltered. Maybe the first thing to appear with this new arrangement will be the minutes of the meeting of Wednesday of this week.

PS. 10 Nov 2013. The MCA section is now ‘active’ and you will find the minutes of last week’s meeting under the MCA menu heading. Click this para to go immediately to it.

Menston Village Show results; best wishes to our anti-greenfield development delegation; stop Wharfedale greenfield development petition gathers pace


Best wishes to our delegation, led by Cllr Dale Smith, TO BRADFORD MDC PLANNING DEPARTMENT ON MONDAY 16 September. The latest phase in fighting the inappropriate Housing development proposed for Menston’s green fields. Watch this space for an update when available


The 38th Annual Menston Village Show brought a host of entries in most classes though general opinion seemed to be that there were not as many entries in the children’s classes as in previous years. Major prizes went to:

Leslie Wood Memorial Trophy (Best in Show) awarded to:

E Loy

Barbara Hannam Trophy (Best Children’s Entry) awarded to:

L Henderson

Fawcett Trophy (Overall Winner) awarded to:

C Wilson

Click here for full prize and trophy results of the 38th Annual Menston Show, 14 September 2013

Results are taken from hand-written sheets provided by show officials. Any errors, or names spelt incorrectly, please let us know by email to and they will be corrected. The prize result pages will remain on the site until the next show, in 2014.

Stop greenfield development in Wharfedale; petition gathers pace

The petition against greenfield development in Wharfedale, mentioned in our post of 30 August, is gathering signatures fast. Over 250 people signed up at the Menston Village Show. For more information or if you’d like to help collect signatures, contact Steve Ellams, email

Menston village – unwanted building, greenfield defence and bikers group

‘Approval’ of new village building by Bradford before those most adversely affected can present their case

One person can exert influence on Bradford Planning Department such that the Menston Parish Council receives a ‘recommendation’ that a building should go ahead before village residents most adversely affected have had a chance to put their objections to the Menston Planning Committee. This much became clear at the Parish Council meeting last evening (29 August).

View from upstairs bedroom of 129 Main Street

Present view from upstairs bedroom at 133 Main Street; a large house, with garage to the right side in this picture, is proposed for the very attractive garden in the foreground

If one person can exert such influence, is it any surprise that major housing developers can get Bradford planning department approval for destructive schemes such as Derry Hill and Bingley Road?  There may no longer be something rotten in the state of Denmark, but something is certainly smelling unpleasant in the Bradford Planning Department. 

Read more …

As with all posts/pages on this blog, any opinions expressed or implied are those of the blog author unless otherwise stated. It should be made clear that the articles  about the Parish Planning Committee meeting were written only as a result of proceedings at the meeting and none of the objectors had been spoken to or otherwise communicated with before they were written.


New petition to stop green belt building in Wharfedale

Menston Action Group (MAG) and Wharfedale and Airedale Review Development (WARD) committee member Dr Stephen (Steve) Ellams is launching a new petition demanding all green belt development be stopped in Wharfedale. The wording of the petition is:

We, the undersigned, recognising the success of previous governments’ greenbelt policies and the need to resist any relaxation of the current greenbelt boundaries, call on central and local government to respect the integrity of those boundaries, and refrain from any policy which would alter the specific areas in Wharfedale at present protected from development by those greenbelt policies.

The petition will first be presented to Menston residents in general at the Menston Village Show (14 September), when visitors will be invited to sign the petition, but you will be able to sign it before then at the Otley Car Show on Sunday 8 September.

If you would like to volunteer to seek signatures, and get a T-shirt to wear while you are doing it, contact Steve Ellam by email:

Menston cycling group

A group of cyclists from Menston, at the moment up to about ten participants, has been meeting every Wednesday, and every other Sunday, for the past eight months, cycling to Otley to join members of Otley Cycle Club for a run.

Menston cycling group meet up near the Park every Monday

Meeting every Wednesday evening at the junction of Low Hall Road and Leathley Avenue, the mixed Menston cycling group joins Otley Cycling Club every Wednesday evening.

The Wednesday run is usually about a couple of hours, often ending with a pint in a local hostelry. However, for newcomers runs can be as short as 5 miles. The group meets on Wednesdays at the mini-roundabout at the junction of Leathley Road and Old Hall Road at 6.40pm.

The Sunday meeting, every other week, is at 9.00am at the Buttercross in Otley for a longer run.

For more information call either Ann Howe on 0784 148 3610 or Nigel Cawthorne on 0758 210 0555, or just turn up at the meeting point on a Wednesday evening.