My previous blogs have covered the potential threat to Tetley Field from housing development. Tetley Field is located in Weetwood ward and is usually approached from the public right of way that connects Weetwood Avenue and Weetwood Mill Lane. Weetwood residents have expressed concern about the threat to the Field on their doorstep and, through the Weetwood Residents Association, have made effective initial representations to Leeds Councillors. So, why then should the threat to the Field be of any concern to Meanwood residents?
My answer to this question would be “because the existing character of the wider Meanwood Valley is so valuable to Meanwood residents”. Exploring the Valley is one of the best things about living in Meanwood, and one of the distinctive aspects of the Valley is the way the various open spaces link up. So, if you take Meanwood Park as a kind of “base”, it is possible from there to explore on foot Meanwood Woods, Adel Woods, The Hollies, the Woodleas, the lower Meanwood Valley and Woodhouse Ridge without passing through any significant built up areas.
And Tetley Field can be added to this list. Although access to the Field from Meanwood Park is not immediately obvious and so possibly not well-known by Meanwood residents, it is in fact only 30 seconds walk from Meanwood Park duckpond, one of the most visited spots in the Valley and itself only 5 minutes walk from the car park at the end of Green Road. Round the back of the pond, through the gap in the fence and you’re on the Field – see below:
Once on the Field, the most immediate first impression is the open-ness of the space. Much of the Valley is wooded so the wider-reaching views of the Field come as a pleasant contrast, and of course a different range of habitats are present, both of which only enhance the Field’s importance. The paths across the Field then act as useful routes to The Hollies via Weetwood Mill Lane or back towards Meanwood Park via Weetwood Avenue.
The Field immediately borders Meanwood Park and is only really separated from it by the (ugly) iron fence that currently surrounds most of the Field. Should the existing natural character of the Field be retained in the long-term, it is quite conceivable that the Field could be much more accessible from the Park, or even become part of the Park itself.
So, to sum up, Tetley Field has value to Meanwood as well as Weetwood residents, and so representations from the Meanwood community have the potential to complement well those already made by residents of Weetwood. This could be crucial in the event of a planning application to build houses on the Field.