Planning consultants Johnson Mowat have launched a consultation about a proposed development of Windmill Farm, near Beckwithshaw. Under their proposals, 780 new houses would be built.

A plan of the site shows no cycle infrastructure whatever within the development. The only exception is a shared use path along the front of the development (on or parallel with Otley Road).

This is similar to the path along the front of the multiple A59 Skipton Road housing developments. That path doesn’t go anywhere, not even to the local shops at Oak Beck Park.

Shared path along front of A59 Skipton Road housing development
Shared path along front of A59 Skipton Road housing developments

In accordance with LTN 1/20 Cycle Infrastructure Design guidance, we would like to see cycle paths to and through the development.

Para 14.1.4 LTN 1/20
Para 14.1.4 LTN 1/20

Pedestrian and cycle movements should be given first priority.

Para 14.2.2, LTN 1/20
Para 14.2.2, LTN 1/20

Cyclists and pedestrians should have separate paths, or separate parts of paths.

Figure 14.6, LTN 1/20
Figure 14.6, LTN 1/20

Cycle parking should be included in the development, with a minimum of 1 place per bedroom.

Cycle parking spaces at housing developments
Cycle parking spaces at housing developments

The development should be connected to the town centre by the Otley Road Cycleway. Timing is key: the cycleway must be built before the houses, or at the very least simultaneously with them, otherwise travel habits will form, and the cycleway will come too late.

Timing is also important for technical reasons. The developers are proposing to widen Otley road to accommodate right turn lanes at access points to the development. This narrows the space available, and would make a cycleway much harder to retro-fit.

Further, three junctions for motor vehicle access are proposed. It would be far better to limit that to one, even if it means longer driving routes to houses. Unless walking and cycling are more direct and more convenient than motor vehicle routes, people will just get in their cars.

Windmill Farm Housing Development
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