A campaign is growing against Leeds Rhinos and Yorkshire County Cricket Club’s plans to sell off greenbelt land for housing to fund a revamp of Headingley stadium.
The sports clubs want to sell off land that they own just off Thorpe Lane in Tingley and the Tetley Field in Weetwood in order to pay for a £40m expansion of Headingley Carnegie Stadium.
The clubs say expansion of the shared sports stadium can only be delivered if the two plots of land are sold off to developers, who plan to build a total of 200 houses on the sites.
Leeds Rhinos Chief Executive Gary Hetherington said: “Our supporters should be under no illusion that unless this project is approved, we will have missed a huge opportunity to complete the re-development of the site.”
TV writer Kay Mellor, of Leeds, is among hundreds of objectors who are opposing a planning application to build 45 houses on Tetley Field at Meanwood.
She said: “Why should we deprive children and the people of Meanwood their greenbelt land?
“There has to be special circumstances to take away greenbelt land. There are no special circumstances here.
“People are up in arms about it. We are not going to roll over and let it happen. People feel passionate about it.”
She added: “They are pitting us against the rugby and the cricket. Nobody wishes them any ill. It’s wonderful that the cricket and rugby goes on.
“We are not bitter and twisted, we are just saying don’t rob Peter and pay Paul, we can have both.
“We embrace the cricket and the rugby, but we don’t want our greenbelt sold off for a stand.”
Headingley Stadium needs upgrades in order for the city to retain an international cricket ground status.