Government green lights controversial North Leeds development


Councillor Brian Cleasby at the Clariant Works site

Councillor Brian Cleasby at the Clariant Works site

Exclusive by Jon Cronshaw


A ‘ludicrous decision’ to overrule Leeds City Council’s decision to
refuse a controversial housing development in Horsforth has been met
with anger from the community
The plans by Harrow Estates to build 400 homes on Calverley Lane was
rejected by the council in 2011 after residents voiced concerns that
the town didn’t have the infrastructure to cope with it.
But the decision was overturned by the Government who ignored the
pleas of local residents and has given the project the green light.
Now councillors and residents are furious that the development can go
ahead, which will see the building of new houses and shops on the
grounds of the old Clariant Works chemical plant.
Coun Brian Cleasby said: “It’s in a ridiculous position, it’s
completely daft – it really is unsustainable.”

Artist impression of the new development on Calverley Lane

Artist impression of the new development on Calverley Lane

A spokesperson for Harrow Estates said: “The opposition by local
councillors throughout the promotion of this site is disappointing
given the overwhelming pressure for new homes in Leeds.”
The original proposals were rejected in the most part because of the
difficulty residents will have gaining access to local shops, schools
and the public transport network without the use of a car.
However, a Leeds City spokesperson said this week: “The scheme will
bring new jobs, new homes and meet a number of other needs of the
local neighbourhood as well as contributing to the ambitious housing
target the city has for the future.”
Horsforth resident Ruth Morris, 26, said: “They haven’t thought it
through at all. The A65 is a nightmare already at most times and the
Horsforth roundabout is a nightmare at rush hour because you cannot
get across it.”
Coun Cleasby explained that when a proposal is considered by the
council, it has to be evaluated with consideration to factors such as
the layout of local roads and the amount of cars on them.
He said: “The only way to get off the site is to use the ring road –
which was our first objection. Going to work, going to school, they’d
have to use the ring road.
Concerns have also been raised over school places.
Coun Cleasby added: “What’s most ridiculous is that the site falls
under an LS18 postcode. This means that now Horsforth School has
changed their admissions policy, they’ll have to give priority to the
new families moving into the new houses. There’s no extra capacity,
and we’ve got a minimal amount of money for more secondary school
A spokesperson from Leeds City Council said: “The site will deliver 50
affordable housing units with a mix of two and three bedroom flats
along with two shops. The developer will be subsiding a new bus
service which will operated seven days a week along with making a
financial contribution to the provision of new schools in the area.”
And a  spokesperson from Harrow Estates added: “In addition to
providing much needed new homes and affordable housing, the
development will also be funding significant improvements to the ring
road as well as a bus service, providing approximately £1m to be spent
on primary education locally as well as enhancing the existing green
spaces used by local cricket and football clubs as part of the former

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