West Ardsley housing bid rejected

Plans to build ten houses near West Ardsley Reservoir have been recommended for rejection by Leeds City Council’s planning committee.

Barring potential appeals by any of the parties involved, the decision that will be made by an independent planning inspector at a later date, will be the final one.

At a hearing at Leeds Civic Hall on Thursday afternoon, committee members were unconvinced at the arguments for development presented by Stonebridge Homes and Keyland Development.

They had earlier been greeted by a crowd of around 50 protesters who oppose the plans, as they observed the site on Haigh Moor Road at around 10.30am.

Many of the protesters said that the planning process has gone on too long and has lacked transparency.

Frustration was also vented at the number of amendments to the application that had been made since the first proposals were tabled in 2013, and the possibility of coal mining at the site.

Mary Chadwick, who lives in East Ardsley, said: “The developers have been allowed to amend the application and appeal time and time again. If a homeowner wants to build a house extension, it’s one application an appeal and then that’s it. The developers shouldn’t be treated any differently. Families come from all over to walk round here and the schools here are oversubscribed.”

One lady, who did not wish to be named said she had lived in East Ardsley all her life. “This is the last bit of greenery round here. It will be sad if they build on it. How long before they’re building houses on the rest of the land?”

Michael Clarke, who lives on Haigh Moor Road said: “I’ve been here 39 years and it’s been continuous building every four or five years.”

Following the decision, Coun Lisa Mulherin (Ardsley and Robin Hood) said: “We’re delighted with the decision. It’s not the end of the journey yet because of the chances of an appeal but this is an important milestone.

“There was a great turnout on Haigh Moor Road and at the meeting and I’m sure that and the strength of feeling made a big difference.”