Public inquiry after homes plan refusal

Campaigners against the proposed Church Fields housing development in East Ardsley
Campaigners against the proposed Church Fields housing development in East Ardsley

Plans to build nearly 300 homes which were refused by Leeds City Council will be heard at a public inquiry this month as part of an appeal.

The council’s plans panel rejected proposals by Barratt David Wilson Homes and The Ramsden Partnership to build 299 homes on Church Fields, off Bradford Road, East Ardsley, in August 2014.

But the company launched an appeal against the refusal and a public inquiry will be held at Leeds Civic Hall on February 23.

More than 100 objection letters were sent to the council by campaigners, including from ward councillors Jack Dunn, Lisa Mulherin and Karen Renshaw, who say the development would have a “negative impact” on the village and congestion.

One objection, from resident Frances Jones who lives adjacent to the proposed site, said: “There is already enormous pressure on school places at East Ardsley and Thorpe Primary Schools and the traffic along Bradford Road is often at a standstill at rush hour as it is.”

After the inquiry, a decision will be made by a planning inspector appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

Council planners visited the site in April, 2014 and a report after that visit said: “To note the report, the presentation and the discussions on the proposals and for the Chief Planning Officer to have regard to the views of the Panel that the application was premature.

“It did not fulfil two of the three criteria laid down in the Interim Housing Policy and there were also concerns about the coalescence of communities and highways issues”