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Campaigners’ delight after Morley housing plan rejected

Campaigners, Elaine Mason, Shirley Varley, Wenda Whitehead, William Tonks, Wyn Kidger and Judith Elliott, celebrating after winning a long battle against housing development on a green field site on Daisy Hill, Morley. The proposals for 92 houses were rejected by Leeds City Council. (D510C237)

Campaigners, Elaine Mason, Shirley Varley, Wenda Whitehead, William Tonks, Wyn Kidger and Judith Elliott, celebrating after winning a long battle against housing development on a green field site on Daisy Hill, Morley. The proposals for 92 houses were rejected by Leeds City Council. (D510C237)

MORLEY’S newest campaign group is celebrating a victory after councillors rejected a developer’s application to build 92 homes on fields on Daisy Hill.

Leeds city council received hundreds of objections by residents and local councillors to plans submitted by Persimmon Homes at the end of last year.

On Thursday councillors on the Plans Panel East refused permission after identifying problems such as poor road junctions around the area, an inadequate bus service, drainage problems and a lack of school places.

Dave Paul, chairman of Morley Against Reckless Construction (MARC), an umbrella group set up earlier this year to unite various residents groups fighting against a number of different developments said it was a “victory for Morley” but warned the fight was not over.

“I am very pleased but also cautious because I don’t think this is the end of it and from what we heard from the builder they are not going to let this go without a fight,“ he said.

“We need to be cautiously optimistic but keep our eyes open because this is just the first shot in a longer war.”

He said that as a group they would continue to fight to see boarded-up building brought back into use and brown field sites built on before the remaining green fields were concreted over.

He added: “Morley has had a lot of building in the last few years, estates which have all added to the problems in the infrastructure. We have three high schools in the area that are totally full and how far can we go before someone says, ‘hang on, we cannot take any more.’?

“We are not against putting houses in the right place, just as long as the infrastructure comes with it but they are not offering shops or schools, have just said they would make a contribution to education but that’s not enough.”

Coun Tom Leadley, the chairman of Morley Town Council’s planning committee, called it, “a very good result” and praised MARC and those living around Daisy Hill for running an effective campaign.

Geoffrey Howson of King George Avenue was one of hundreds of local residents to object to the building plans.

He said: “We all feel this is brilliant news but we are not going to celebrate yet. I have a feeling this is not the end of it.

He added: “You cannot stop progress with regards to house building but where we are this would cause serious problems.

“I have been 40 years in Morley and have seen it really spread out and now we don’t want to see it spread out any more.”

Wayne Gradwell, managing director of Persimmon Homes West Yorkshire, said they were very disappointed by the decision, particularly as the plans had received the support of council officers who had recommended they be approved.

He added: “The site has been allocated for housing development in the local development plan for a number of years, which establishes the principle of residential 
development.

“Whilst we were aware of and are sympathetic to specific concerns raised by local residents and businesses, we worked alongside planning officers in order to reach an acceptable solution that sought to mitigate such concerns.

“Unfortunately the decision to refuse a scheme on an allocated residential site, despite officers’ recommendations to the contrary, is not without precedent within Leeds and as a consequence, we are considering alternative avenues for taking this site forward.”

 

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