The planning application to build 45 properties on Tetley Field in the Meanwood Valley has now been submitted. Local residents have met to discuss how to encourage as many people as possible to object to the application. A formal campaign will be launched shortly, with full guidance on how to object. This blog provides a few tips in advance of the campaign launch on how you can prepare to make your objection.
The deadline for Comments on the application is 10 June, so start thinking now about how you’re going to object, what you’re going to say and how to encourage others to do so too.
First of all, you might want to have a look at the application itself. To do so, visit https://publicaccess.leeds.gov.uk/online-applications/ and copy and paste the reference 16/02583/OT into the search box. This brings up the application:
Address: Land North Of Weetwood Avenue Weetwood Leeds LS16 5NG
Proposal: Outline application for residential development up to 45 dwellings including access
The are 44 (gulp!) documents associated with the application. Obviously, it’s impossible to take in all this stuff. The one I found most useful was the “Planning Statement”, particularly pages 6-8 (which summarises the proposed development) and pages 29-50 (which outlines the applicant’s case – always good to know). I also noted the “Street Scenes”. These demonstrate the likely visual impact of the development when viewed from Meanwood Park – quite a big factor for a regular visitor to the Park like me. Given that you can clearly see the Park from the Field through the trees (see my photo below), the impact is likely to be considerable.
Once you’ve looked at the application, you can also register so that you’re in a position to submit a Comment. Click on “Comments” then “Register here”. You are asked for Name, Email address, Password (create your own) and Address. Tick the Terms & Conditions. You are then sent an email with a final link to click to complete your registration.
You are then in a position to make a Comment. Given that the system will only allow you 1 hour on the form, you might want to prepare this in advance in Word or similar. Full guidance on the kind of things to say will follow shortly with the statement accompanying the campaign launch. However, at this stage it’s worth emphasising that ideally you will need to say something unique and personal to yourself. Signing a petition or copying and pasting the pre-prepared statement will just be regarded by the Council as the same representation repeated. So, over the next few days, have a think about why you feel the Field is valuable to you. Ideally your wording, when you do come to comment, should sound as if it’s coming genuinely from you and be just a little different to everyone else’s.
I’ve had a go at drafting out what I’m going to say. Obviously, I will tweak this when the campaign is launched. However, I show it here to give an idea of the kind of thing to come up with:
As a Meanwood resident, I object to this proposed development because it threatens the Green Belt in the Meanwood Valley, one of the best things about living in this area. I understand that development in the Green Belt conflicts with both local and national planning policies. Development on this site is therefore clearly inappropriate.
In particular, I value the existing character of the site of this proposed development (which is known locally as “Tetley Field”). I use the Field on a regular basis for informal recreation – rambling and running. The Field has great character – it feels like a valuable and quiet “wild open space” in the inner city, and has views into Meanwood Park and beyond. It is clearly an important wildlife refuge for both animals and plants. Several paths cross the site, linking to other parts of the Meanwood Valley, which demonstrate that the Field is well used by local people. In addition, the Field adjoins Meanwood Park, so development here would clearly have a detrimental visual impact on the Park itself.
In conclusion, as a Meanwood resident I feel that development on this site would be a considerable loss to the area. In addition, there would be no obvious benefits in return from the redevelopment of Headingley Stadium, to which this application is directly related.
Note when filling in the Comments form you will have to click your “Stance” – Object, Neutral or Support. Obviously, when the time comes, please Object (if you disagree with this, you’re probably reading the wrong blog!).
Full details of the campaign to protect this corner of the Meanwood Valley will follow on this site very shortly. Ideally, please don’t actually fill in the Comments form until after the campaign launch. But with the deadline for Comments being 10 June, get ready to object now, and encourage people you know to do the same.