HUNDREDS of Daisy Hill residents who wrote letters protesting against a housing development have been told they will not afterall get to have their say at a public inquiry.
Dave Paul, a resident and chairman of Morley Against Reckless Construction (MARC), said he had collected nearly 400 letters from people opposed to the plan by Persimmon Homes.
The letters were to be sent to the planning inspectorate in Bristol where they would have formed part of the evidence examined in a public inquiry in the spring.
Now however the inquiry, called when Persimmon appealed against Leeds City Council’s first refusal of their application, is no longer to be held after Leeds City Council gave the go ahead for a second, very similar application to be handled by council planning officers who recommended it be approved.
Persimmon then withdrew their appeal against the first refusal.
Mr Paul said he was bitterly disappointed they will not get to put their views to a planning inspector but said they blamed Leeds City Council for the way they had handled the application.
“We have been trodden on, that is the feeling of the people that live here, they are not happy at all.
“The 400 signatures on letters we have collected tell you that most of the estate doesn’t want this and yet that opinion carries no weight.
“What does is take to make the council sit up and take notice?”
Mr Paul added: “Leeds City Council have fallen over themselves for the developer and won’t be happy until they have concreted Morley over because it will be the same panel that is going to deal with all Morley applications and that frightens me.”
Coun Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member for neighbourhoods, planning and support services said the decision to approve the second application was based on site visits and “detailed considerations”, and, “all material planning considerations, including those arising from the comments of consultees, public representations about the application and Government guidance and policy as detailed in the National Planning Policy Framework”.
He added: “On balance the council considers the development would not give rise to any unacceptable consequences for the environment, community or other public interests of acknowledged importance.”
He also said that the council had previously released the greenfield site for housing development following a series of appeal losses and costs awarded against the council for not having a five-year supply of land available.
Mr Paul said MARC, which was started last year to fight a number of applications they feel will lead to the over development of Morley and the loss of too many green spaces, would have to rethink their strategy in the light of the news but would continue campaigning.