Protesters meet Pickles over greenfield site plan

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Protesters opposing plans to build industrial warehouses on a greenfield site have lobbied Communities Secretary Eric Pickles to overturn the decision.

Leeds City Council (LCC) approved development firm Marshall CDP’s bid to build an 80 bay distribution centre and warehouses on land next to Gelderd Road in Gildersome in February.

We’ll keep our fingers crossed. It will be a little miracle if he calls it in because it’s our last hope

Coun Pat May

Parish councillors and residents have appealed to Mr Pickles to take the decision out of the hands of the local authority and move the matter upstairs to central government in a move described as their “last hope”.

Mr Pickles took a similar course of action last year over a proposal to build a travellers’ site at Cottingley Springs, a matter still formally up in the air but which is expected to be rejected imminently.

Coun Pat May said: “We were so grateful for the chance to put our concerns over about the environment and transport and the impact this will have on the area.

“He listened to everything we had to say and asked us a few questions about some of the points we made, but of course he can’t comment at this stage.

“We’ll keep our fingers crossed. It will be a little miracle if he calls it in because it’s our last hope.”

“We don’t know when a decision may be made but it’s quite important it’s fairly soon because the council are hoping to get everything signed by the beginning of April.”

Prospective Conservative candidate for Morley and Outwood Andrea Jenkyns, who helped arrange the meeting, said: “Like the local residents, I was disappointed to see this planning application approved by Leeds City Council.

“Local people have voiced their concerns about the plans for a long time and I believe they have some justifiable worries. I am pleased to see they have not given up their battle and put a very good case forward to Mr Pickles.”