Protest against industrial estate plan

Land on Gelderd Road where a massive business park and distribution centre is planned. (17020901)
Land on Gelderd Road where a massive business park and distribution centre is planned. (17020901)
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Campaigners in Gildersome who have been fighting for five years against plans to build a huge business park and industrial estate on their doorstep are to hold a protest at the site as a final decision is made.

Leeds City Plans Panel will be making a site visit to the land between Gelderd Road, Asquith Avenue and Nepshaw Lane, tomorrow morning to see the place where industrial units, warehouse and distribution units are planned.

The proposal to build there first came to light in 2009. It was strongly opposed to by villagers and Gildersome Parish Council, who fought the same plans for a second time in August 2011.

Both times the application was refused, but the battle commenced again when a third application was submitted in 2012.

After the site visit, the Plans Panel will hold a meeting at Leeds Civic Hall to make a decision on whether the application should be approved or refused.

Coun Pat May, a member of Gildersome Parish Council, said: “If they accept the proposals the 70 acres of land bordering Dean Wood will be annihilated. In the place of grazing land there will be a huge 70 bay distribution centre, possibly working 24/7 and a large number of other warehouse units.

“Gildersome Parish Council and residents have already fought off two previous applications by developers. We are, however, extremely worried about this application, especially in view of the large number of planning applications Leeds City Council seem to be granting for the Morley area.”

Campaigners say that there is no need to plough up green fields when so many brownfield site are available.

Coun May said: “There are numerous sites and empty units within a three mile radius. Developers simply want the easier and cheaper option of green fields. In a Market Assessment Document the developers submitted they called the fields “oven ready”.

“Well, we hope that their goose is well and truly cooked! This area of green space is a crucial buffer between Morley and Gildersome and should be saved not just for us, but future generations.

“To destroy it would create one huge urban sprawl. Traffic congestion, also, is a major concern. All local residents experience congestion everyday now, without this massive development and the increase in traffic it would generate.”

In an effort to make their case to the Plans Panel, a silent protest has been organised for tomorrow morning when the Plans Panel make a site visit.

Coun May said: “The aim is to line the boundary fence of the fields along Gelderd Road, Asquith Avenue and Nepshaw Lane with as many people as possible. If any local residents can help please meet at Belle Vue Terrace, Gelderd Road at 10am.”

Anyone who requires further information please contact Pat May on 0113 2537019 or email patmay@maydisplay.plus.com.