My first blog posed the question whether the Tetley Field site in the Meanwood Valley was worth protecting in its current form from housing development. This second blog goes on to suggest some ways in which people concerned about this can make their views heard.
The Comments received on my first blog suggest that I’m perhaps not the only person who sees some amenity, wildlife and recreational value in the Tetley Field in the Meanwood Valley. So, given that the field is under threat from development, the obvious next question is “what can we do about it”?
The immediate answer to this may appear to be “wait for the planning application to be submitted and then comment”. There’s no doubt that all interested parties should do this in due course. The issue is though that the application is not expected for another couple of months. If this seems like a long time to you too, here are some suggestions of things you could be doing in the meantime, ranging from more formal to more informal methods.
Leeds City Council
The Council will of course decide the outcome of the forthcoming planning application. The ground for the proposed redevelopment has also been laid by the re-allocation of the Tetley Field from Greenbelt to Housing in the Council’s Site Allocations Plan Publication Draft of 2015 (site HG2/49, p.314-5 of the “North Leeds” document). Although the formal consultation on the Site Allocations Plan closed in November, it is of course possible to contact the Council at any time. You may wish to mention both the site re-allocation as well as the developer’s plans themselves.
Another consultation that strictly speaking has recently closed is on Leeds Rugby’s development website, although contact details are still visible at the time of writing. If you are a fan of Leeds Rhinos/Yorkshire Carnegie/Yorkshire CCC you may want to mention this as hopefully the Club will make particular note of its supporters’ views. Note though that responding to this consultation only has the potential to affect the content of the expected planning application itself.
Bear in mind one over-riding theme regarding the above methods – it is often more powerful for a number of people to make individual responses/representations, rather than making one response on behalf of lots of people.
Back in October the Meanwood Valley Partnership agreed to make an initial objection to the reallocation of the Tetley Field in the Site Allocations Plan, and at a public meeting on 10 February pledged to repeat this when the planning application is submitted. I understand that concern has also been expressed through the Weetwood Residents Association. Local associations like this are important links between the community and the Council/councillors so if you’re involved in local groups keep your concerns about the Tetley Field on their radar.
Something almost anyone can do is make the most of social media. I’m having a try here with this blog site (you are very welcome to use the Comments section below) and Twitter account (feel free to adopt the hashtag #tetleyfield) but obviously there’s a plethora of options these days. Why not take some photos (even better than mine!) and share them on Facebook or Instagram? Or how about some videos on Youtube? (choose a nice day, and try and catch the birdsong!).
Walk and talk
It goes without saying – get your boots on and walk on the field, share your concerns with local friends and encourage them to get involved.
One final thought – Do you know anyone who would be willing to do a free habitat survey and share the results? It would be great to back up the hunch that this is an important field for wildlife by having some hard evidence of the number of species on the field.
I hope these suggestions are constructive. Is a more co-ordinated response required? Please feel free to leave any Comments below.