Campaigners win public meeting

wet  Pictured at Spofforth Hill are protesters Simon Parrish, Beverley Parrish, Alex Parrish, Peter Tweddle, Freda Barker, Jim Walton, David Walton, and Tony Evans.  (130906M2)
wet Pictured at Spofforth Hill are protesters Simon Parrish, Beverley Parrish, Alex Parrish, Peter Tweddle, Freda Barker, Jim Walton, David Walton, and Tony Evans. (130906M2)

Angry residents have won a battle for a public meeting to make their feelings known over controversial plans to build up to 400 homes in Wetherby’s Spofforth Hill.

Protestors to Bellway Homes’ application for a mix of housing on 36 acres of land at the top of Spofforth Hill have, for weeks, been calling for the chance to air their views with local councillors.

Say No to Spofforth Hill spokesman Jim Walton said: ““We feel that the approval of this application would have a dramatic adverse effect on Wetherby as a whole.

“We are pleased that our Ward City Councillors have given us the opportunity to express our serious concerns at a public meeting and we fervently hope that as many of our townspeople as possible attend and make their feelings heard.”

Residents say the land is unsuitable for housing under planning guidelines and have called on ward councillors and Leeds City Council’s plans panel to reject the application.

In a letter to Leeds City Council, Westgate Court resident David Walton wrote: “The proposed site is attractive rolling farmland with beautiful mature trees on its western border and is crisscrossed by a network of paths and bridleways offering Wetherby’s residents access to countryside.

“The loss of this land will be sorely felt, would be irreversible and would significantly detract from Wetherby as a town.

Mr Walton, a solicitor, also questioned the number of homes being built in Wetherby - which he said was “disproportionate” to the rest of city.

He wrote: “One might be forgiven for thinking Wetherby has become a dumping ground for Leeds developments.”

Under development plans for Leeds, up to 70,000 homes will be built across the city in the 15-20 years, with around 5,000 homes planned for the North and East areas of the city.

More than a 100 objections to the homes have now been sent to Leeds City Council’s public access site, ahead of the deadline for comments last week.

A spokesman for Leeds City Council told the News: “Any application for development is considered on its own merits and determined on the relevant planning policies.

“The Government is seeking to increase housing delivery and any decision will need to take account of the city’s current and future housing requirements.”

The decision on the homes is likely in November by Leeds City Council’s City Plans Panel.

A spokesman for Bellway Homes earlier this year said the housing development will include “well designed energy efficient homes” to suit “modern family needs”.

The public meeting will be held on Monday September 16 at Wetherby Town Hall from 7.30pm.