On Thursday last a public meeting about the planning consultation exercise being carried out by Leeds City Council was held in Cookridge Village Hall. At the meeting, organised by local ward councillors, around 200 Cookridge residents heard more about the process, in particular the implications for Moseley Wood Bottoms.
This consultation is a national requirement, defined and driven by strict criteria laid down by coalition government, so it is important we engage with the process.
In Leeds NW Outer area, which includes Adel and Wharfedale, Leeds City Council has to identify sites for 6,000 homes for the period up to 2028. Whilst priority is given to using brownfield sites these will provide only half the required number for this area. The other possible sites are colour coded:
Green sites have been identified as suitable for development
Amber sites could be suitable but there are some outstanding issues
Red sites are not considered suitable for development
At the meeting we learnt that in Adel and Wharfedale the only way the required number of houses could be reached is by using all the green and amber sites. Locally this means the area called Moseley Wood Bottoms would be included. It is likely that the access to the site would be via Moseley Wood Rise, off Moseley Wood Gardens. This immediately raised concerns for the local residents and many spoke forcefully about the dangers of increasing the traffic along the road as well as the problems caused by contractors’ vehicles, especially in the winter when snow and ice make driving along that road particularly hazardous. This raised other concerns about increase in traffic generally, lack of public transport and difficulty in getting to and parking at the station. Many residents were concerned about the current poor drainage in the area and the risk of flooding of gardens and overspill onto the railway line. It was noted that there could be environmental concerns, the area is full of wildlife and there may be valuable flora and fauna on the site. Some residents asked if it was intended to build affordable housing, social housing and smaller units to enable elderly residents to downsize but stay close to friends and family rather than more 4 and 5 bedroomed homes. Currently no plans been submitted by a developer but the branch supports the building of affordable and social housing.
The Branch opposes the proposed development in Moseley Wood Gardens as it is not a brownfield site and it certainly does not have the roads, schools or public transport provision to support a development of 200+ homes.
What can we do? It is important that as many people as possible comment on the sites either by going on line or writing, and by opposing the use of all sites other than brownfield. This is particularly relevant as priority use of brownfield sites is not current government policy, although it is Leeds City Council policy. Also the coalition government, have amended the planning laws to enable land-owners to propose alternative sites, including green belt sites, so it is important to comment on all sites including the ones coded red (not considered suitable for development) as the owner, residents or planners could propose them as suitable sites. One of the questions in the survey asks if you wish to suggest alternative sites so red sites you consider suitable could be considered. Encourage your friends and family to also comment on the proposals as well, the more people who take the trouble to respond the more likely we are to be heard.
In addition you may have seen the notice for a meeting in Cookridge Village Hall for June 27th from 4.30 to 7.30pm arranged by Taylor Wimpey, when they will be available to explain their plans. Go along and make your feelings known.
You can find out more or comment on the proposals:
By visiting the web site at www.leeds.gov.uk/siteallocations
By visiting the Development Enquiry Centre at The Leonardo Building, 2 Rossington St, Leeds, LS2 (Monday to Friday 08:30 – 17:00, except Wednesdays 10:00 – 17:00)
By visiting all libraries and one-stop centres within Leeds District.
In addition there will be a number of sites across the city were residents can drop in and view the material with planning offices on hand to offer assistance. The two closest to Adel and Wharfedale will be at:
Otley – Core Resource Centre on Thursday June 20th between 3pm and 8pm
Horsforth High School Main Hall on Saturday June 22nd between 10am and 3pm