Conservation BCC Award

In recognition of its efforts on The Big Conservation Conversation, Ilkley Civic Society was presented with a national Civic Voice Award. The award was presented at the Civic Voice Annual Convention, held this year in Wakefield. This made the front page of the Ilkley Gazette and featured prominently on the Civic Voice website.

Christmas Heritage Walk

Twenty people and a dog joined the Heritage Walk around the Middleton conservation area on 28th December in cold but dry weather. The walk was led by Alex Cockshott. She highlighted the variety of different architecture styles in the area which was laid out as a planned development in the 1890s, although many of the proposed residential roads were not built and remain as part of Middleton Woods. After the walk, at the Ilkley Moor Vaults where we thawed out, Alex was able to show the maps and illustrations of the area.

Sun Lane site, Burley in Wharfedale

This plan for a new large housing estate on green belt, to the west of Burley in Wharfedale was submitted to BMDC over a year ago and was considered at the Regulatory and Appeals Committee on 11th January at City Hall. The case was deferred by the council until after the May referendum on the Burley neighbourhood plan.

Green Belt Review

Just a week before Christmas, BMDC opened a six-week consultation on their proposed Green Belt Review methodology. After weeks of little activity with the local plan this 60+ page technical document arrived with about as much welcome as holiday homework! ICS will be submitting comments. If you would like us to include your views, the document can be found at  or in hard copy format at Ilkley Library.

Manor House

The saga continues. Nothing has been signed yet but a number of events have been held. Monthly coffee mornings and Friends’ meetings are going ahead.

Archive Project

The civic society is proposing to create an archive of documents, many of which can be held electronically. This will include deeds, maps, photographs and some original records which have been given to ICS for ‘safe keeping’. The idea of holding this archive in Ilkley is so that it is available to local historians without the need to travel to Leeds, York, Wakefield, Morley or Boston Spa or Bradford. We will need to store and catalogue our material to professional standards. We are trying to find out likely costs and identify a suitable space for storage and use. Some of the items will be available for exhibitions.

Historic England  3 Slides – 3 Minutes

At the English Heritage Sector Day at Salem chapel in Leeds, both David Blackburn and Helen Kidman made 3 minute mini-presentations on Conservation. David spoke on the Big Conservation Conversation in Ilkley while Helen spoke on research into conservation areas at risk in Yorkshire and Humber. Both were received with interest by an audience of conservation officers and amenity society representatives including a number of civic societies from across northern England.

Parking Consultation

We have put our views to the district and parish councils, councillors and to John Grogan, our MP. Helen Kidman spoke at the parish council debate on 8th January. There is broad agreement that residents’ parking schemes will be needed in some areas and that increasing public parking might be counter-productive in terms of increasing congestion. The issue of parking around some schools is becoming problematic. However, the possibility of using school carparks for overflow/coach parking out of school terms might be an opportunity.

Ilkley Grammar School

Talking of which, a new building programme is at the planning application stage to accommodate an additional 300 pupils in years 7-11. This will bring the school roll up to around 2000 by 2023. The new building will have 15 classrooms. The planning reference is 17/06904/MAF. The civic society is concerned that allowing schools to increase their numbers in a piecemeal manner lacks coordination. Any increase in numbers puts even more pressure on residential roads in the area. The Victorian building at the Grammar School is not listed, but is a distinctive and instantly recognisable building to those who went to school there. Are there any views from members on listing it?


The first product of the commitments made by Arriva in taking over the Northern Rail franchise has appeared in the form of an hourly service to and from Bradford on Sundays, matching the Leeds service. However the introduction of the half hourly Leeds evening service is still awaited – it won’t be happening in May. Introduction of the promised new trains is due from December 2018.

First Buses are introducing contactless payment systems on their buses from 18th January 2018 – so you will be able to use your contactless debit or credit card or smartphone to make payments for fares up to £30  - cash and passes still accepted. It should speed up boarding times at busy stops.The X84 is due to change its timetable - again - to improve reliability in February.

WYCA are due to set their Transport Budgets on 1st February – and facing some significant funding pressures. Spotted in the WYCA Budget papers are proposals to review their Bus Information Strategy in 2018 and in particular they are proposing to:

  • Devise and implement new strategy by June 2018 to move from a paper based information provision to a fully digital self-service provision focused on live travel information “on the move” to drive efficiency and savings;
  • Devise and implement new strategy by June 2018 to grow market for MCard with WY Ticketing Company introducing new retail channels including mobile phone ticketing. Modernise the service offer at Travel Centres to streamline these and realise savings.

They have been trying to persuade passengers to “channel shift” for the last couple of years – but this now looks like a major step to removing paper timetables and other information and directing passengers to real-time displays and their website for detailed timetable information. For example, we already know that Metro are not planning to print the popular Metro DalesBus Summer and Winter Timetable Booklets this year but will still be preparing online versions. It also looks like a refocusing and reduction in their Travel Centres providing face to face information. The loss of paper based information remains a concern for those that do not have access to the internet or a smartphone – particularly but not exclusively for the elderly – and also assumes that people can always get a signal to access the travel information when they need it – and we know there are problems in more rural areas – but also in parts of Ilkley!  And harping back to the continuing confusion over the timetable and bus route for the 962 Hopper bus – that is one service where additional paper information and maps would help. The cessation of paper timetables is contentious and we will be making our views on the impact of this.

Friends of the Cemetery

The Friends of the Cemetery will continue to meet in the cemetery on the last Tuesday of each month for a litter picking/tidying up session. The exception will be the first session on TUESDAY 20TH MARCH (a week early to avoid Easter week). We hope the Tesco volunteers will join us again. We meet at the Beanlands Gate at 2pm. Anybody wishing to join us or wanting more information should call Alex Cockshott on 601561.

War Memorials now listed

This was on our ‘To Do’ list when we realised that someone had already done it!. Our thanks go to Historic England’s Craig Broadwith and Giles Proctor who realised that they had not been covered and wrote up the detailed descriptions. The 2nd World War memorial includes the Riverside Gardens and there is an opportunity to get this listed now. Do we go for the structures (stairs and flagpole) or the whole park? Will this be of benefit to Ilkley? It is already in the conservation area, which provides some protection for the trees. Do let us know if you have a view on this.

Heritage Walks 2018

A programme of walks is being organised. If you have preferences for particular times or days throughout the summer, please contact Alex Cockshott. Any ideas for new walks are welcome.

Keighley incinerator update

Thank you to ICS members who wrote and objected to the planning application for the incinerator back in February last year. These objections were included in the evidence presented during the recent judicial review (15th/16th January) of Bradford Council's actions in relation to the granting of planning permission for the incinerator. The ‘Aire Valley Against Incineration’ group’s barrister challenged the handling of the planning process on two grounds. These related to perceived flaws in the Council’s approach to assessing the impact of the incinerator on significant heritage and habitats sites: East Riddlesden Hall (Grade 1) and Rombald’s Moor (SSSI/SPA). At the end of the hearing the judge reserved judgement to review the evidence presented by AVAI, CBMDC and their interested party Endless Energy. A judgement on whether the current planning permission is valid is likely to be known by early February.

Join the Committee

If you would like to join the committee, please contact Kate Brown, Alex Cockshott or Helen Kidman.

Meetings 2018

22nd Feb         'Services - what do we get for our council taxes?' - Presentations and discussion

                                      Sue Gledhill (BMDC Area Co-ordinator)

                                      Cllr Brian Mann (Ilkley Parish Council) 

22nd March      Design and Conservation Awards

26th April          AGM and a presentation on Natural Flood Management