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Local Plan Consultation

A partial review of the core strategy document is underway with public consultation open until September 24th. The overall housing numbers have been reduced considerably but the impact on Ilkley is not huge. We have to find spaces for 500 between April 2020 and 2037. All of the windfall sites we have meticulously counted up for the last five years do not count. A series of workshop sessions is coming up at City Hall in early September – see BMDC website for themes dates and booking arrangements.

Design Consultation

Bradford Council has also announced a review of their Design Strategy ‘Homes and Neighbourhoods’, a consultation which runs until 24th September. We are formulating some comments from ICS but please submit your own.

Ben Rhydding P&R

Park and Ride at Ben Rhydding?

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority is at present carrying out a £150 000 feasibility study into creating a park and ride facility close to Ben Rhydding Station, just below the scout hut. Ilkley Civic Society is not against the principle of Park and Ride but we have considerable reservations about building one at Ben Rhydding. The proposal has been around for 25 years.

Many of the points we have made are detailed, but are summarised here:

  • The proposed site is in green belt and we think that all other options should be pursued first. Using green belt should be a last resort.
  • The proposal to create a P&R car park in West Ilkley or Addingham, in preference to the Ben Rhydding proposal, should be seriously considered.
  • Insufficient research has so far been done on encouraging commuters to use alternative modes of transport eg hopper buses or cycling.
  • Creating disabled access to both platforms at Ben Rhydding would mean the costly provision of large ramps, bridges across Wheatley Lane and lifts to reach both platforms.
  • The proposed P&R car park is on a slope and would be highly visible from the gateway to Ilkley at the A65 coming into Ben Rhydding. The proposed site is a meadow on a slope. If it was hard surfaced, it could lead to flooding. In view of the problems with landslips any development activity which might adversely impact the railway or A65 should be avoided. If the proposal gets the go-ahead we should wish to see a sustainable drainage plan and high quality planting to mitigate the visual impact.
  • Access from the proposed P&R car park to Wheatley Lane is poor. Access to and from Cheltenham Avenue immediately above the railway bridge on Wheatley Lane is very poor and would be made more difficult by any development. Cheltenham Avenue and Moorfield Road are just two of seven conflicts on this 100 m length of road with frequent accidents.
  • The station facilities at Ben Rhydding are minimal and the platforms are narrow. There is little room to extend it.

If you have any more thoughts on this issue, please contact Helen Kidman (Chair).

Local History Hub

Following the successful start of our monthly Saturday afternoon sessions with the public, we start our occupancy of part of the attic and office space at the Manor House from 1st September. In advance, we have cleaned out the festoons of cobwebs and painted the walls and ceiling in the front of the attic. We are working on a catalogue system so that users of the archive can identify with ease the items they wish to consult. We are keen that more people should come along on the Saturdays and share their stories and questions.

Middleton Lodge

There is a plan in to convert the former Retreat Centre into an hotel. We have some concerns about this proposed development in a peaceful but highly visible part of Middleton, which has narrow access roads and is very close to the Nidderdale AONB border. To see our comments, see 19/02984/FUL on the Bradford planning website.

Street Lights

Bradford Council has a programme of street light replacements. The new ones are greener and more efficient. We are keen to ensure that as many as possible of Ilkley’s old gas standards, which have been converted to electricity but can be re-used, are retained. They are part of our heritage. With help from Andrew Walbank we are identifying these in order to make a case for their retention. Contact David Blackburn for more information.

Parking changes

We have only made one comment since the introduction of the changes, whilst the main car park has been signed as having new charges the council has failed to inform motorists entering the town that major changes to street parking have taken place. We are collecting evidence of issues not addressed or caused by the changes but would urge residents to make their own comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and to please send a copy to us.

Heritage walks

So far this year there has not been good weather and numbers attending our walks are down. Which walks do you wish to see next year?

Historic Footpaths

The Ramblers Association estimate that there are some 10 000 miles of Rights of Way at risk. Not all of these are in the country and working with the RA at a local level we are developing an exercise to identify paths and back roads in Ilkley, which might not be registered, to ensure that they are included in the definitive maps held by the council. Please contact Jan Stallworthy for more information.

Friends of Ilkley Cemetery

The Friends have continued to meet on the last Tuesday of each month, and have made progress on weeding the Memorial Avenue. Litter is at an all-time low. There are still plenty of brambles to cut back!

Peace Exhibition

What did you think of the Peace Exhibition? Anything to suggest that we could incorporate in future exhibitions? We are contemplating an exhibition on VE Day for next year. Contact Alex Cockshott.

Rail Engineering Works - Sundays 1st & 8th September 2019

​Engineering works will take place on railway lines near Leeds on Sundays 1st and 8th September 2019, with revised timetables operating on the Leeds - Skipton - Settle – Carlisle; Leeds - Skipton - Lancaster – Morecambe; Leeds - Ilkley and Leeds - Harrogate - York lines.

Buses will replace trains on both Sundays until mid-morning between Leeds and Shipley/Ilkley, and all day between Leeds and Horsforth.

Note in particular that:

  • the 0830 train from Leeds to Lancaster will start instead from Shipley at 0843, with a connecting bus from Leeds at 0759.
  • the 0859 train from Leeds to Carlisle will start instead from Shipley at 0913, with a connecting bus from Leeds at 0826.

For full details of the revised timetables please visit the Northern website,


X84: Leeds - Otley - Ilkley – Skipton – from Sunday 1st September

From Sunday 1st September 2019 the eastbound carriageway of the Headrow in Leeds will be closed for construction works as part of the Connecting Leeds project.

As a result, service X84 between Leeds, Otley, Ilkley and Skipton will start and terminate at Albion Street bus stop J3 and will not run to or from Leeds City Bus Station. There will be a revised timetable from 1st September.

These works may also have an impact on other bus routes in Leeds city centre.

For further information visit the Metro website.


WYCA Bus Information Strategy 2019 – 2024

The public consultation on the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Bus Information Strategy runs until 25th August 2019.

The Committee has already responded on behalf of ICS as among its concerns were the assumptions in the strategy regarding Digital First and how those passengers that do not have a smartphone or access to the internet would be able to get hold of bus information in the future in a format that would be convenient to them. The strategy proposes to stop producing printed timetable leaflets and instead suggests that passengers who still rely on the paper format would have to call at a Travel Centre to request a paper printout.

Details of the strategy are at the following link https://www.yourvoice.westyorks-ca.gov.uk/bus-information-strategy

You can complete the online Survey Form provided at the above-mentioned link or send them an email with your thoughts. If you need help to do this then contact a Committee Member who will be happy to assist.


Meetings Programme 2019-20

We are back at Church House!

October 24th                       Ilkley Local History Hub

November 28th                   The Peace Museum

February 27th                     The River Wharfe

March 26th                         Design and Conservation Awards

April 24th                             AGM; Ilkley in the 1920s