Was YOUR Leeds village or town TARGETTED?

Who knows the definition of Town and Country Planning? 

No?  Well…

“Its goal is to ensure sustainable economic development and a better environment…

…particular concerns are pollution, urban sprawl, and ribbon development.”


Look at the list of villages and towns below. Around 2011 – 2013, did you hear from the Council, asking if you’d like to have some input about planning and shaping where you live, as part of their future plans for building near you – the Site Allocation Plan?  No?  Perhaps you haven’t  even heard of a ‘Site Allocation Plan’.   Don’t worry if you haven’t,  many hundreds of thousands of others certainly haven’t either.  Awareness was rasied, not by the Council, but by local campaigners alerting people to what the Council had ‘planned’ for them.

A few years ago, many of the most special semi-rural fringe communities were deliberately targetted by Leeds City Council or speculative PLC developers and builders, eager to build where they will attain the biggest profits and achieve the most financial benefit.  Does that fit with the definition of ‘Town and Country Planning’… or does cherry-picking for profitability sound more like it..?

Yorkshire Greenspace Alliance (YGA) was set up in September last year, in order to unite residents and campaign groups from EVERY ONE OF WEST YORKSHIRE’S 10 LOCAL AUTHORITIES. These groups who were panicked into pulling together to try and have a voice, having been ignored and dictated to about how many houses they would be getting and where.  Almost all these towns and villages affected have at least one campaign group.  Any such groups and individuals are welcome to unite with YGA, if they’re not already members; there’s no cost, all we  ask is that members do a little fundraising.

YGA have set their first task to start with Leeds City Council’s Site Allocations Plan. The task is the ‘legal defence’ of the whole of Leeds’ Green Belt and Community Greenspaces which, we believe and are professionally advised, is not legally compliant – the plan is ‘unsound’.

YGA has engaged a successful, specialist planning barrister who will be defending the greenspace and Green Belt taken from every village and town across Leeds that’s included in the plan. But we a running out of money for this vital expert legal advice.  It is essential that our Barrister can be engaged further to speak on behalf of EVERYONE who values the Green Belt and greenspaces of our city.  Parks, playing fields, allotments, woodlands are also included in the plan for building on!

Let’s be perfectly clear about a couple of critical facts influencing what’s happened in Leeds, becuase YGA supports appropriate and fair development – of course we need new houses, it is vital.  However, we need the RIGHT kind of houses in the RIGHT places.  But, it is a fact that Leeds has enough alternative land – ‘brownfield’ sites – to deliver more than the city’s projected housing needs for the next couple of decades, without having to consider using protected Green Belt, allotments, playing fields, woodlands and so on.  In addition, there’s a flawed planning law (called the NPPF) that was written by developers which allows them to build on Green Belt if they can prove that there are  no alternatives… but there are.  The Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) has published concrete evidence to prove it. YGA has the full support of the CPRE in our endeavour to engage a barrister to save Leeds Green Belt and community greenspaces – they believe that the plan is unsound too.

61,000 individual site objections were ignored by the Council – unbelievable, but true.  If a Public Consultation which results in 61,000 objections is not taken into account it begs the question, what’s the point?   It begs the question, “Who do the Council represent, if not their citizens?”.   YGA promise that WE WILL do just that – we will represent the 61,000 ignored, and we will not give up, oh no we won’t.

YOUR VOICES MADE NO DIFFERENCE TO THE COUNCIL.  We need to ‘get legal’. Can you help us with this battle?


The villages and towns listed below had no say in shaping the Council’s plan.  Is yours one of them?   Whether it is the coins from a money jar you’ve saved for a ‘rainy day’, the £1 you save for your shopping trolley – or the £5 you were going to spend on that Costa and a cake, every penny can help. Equally, we are seeking more substantial donations too – perhaps your group has a fund for local issues that could be accessed.  And we are also hoping to find a ‘Golden Donor’ – someone who might be willing to commit to regular and on-going financial support, or a one-off large gift.

We don’t need to remind you that Leeds is defined by it’s semi-rural character and wonderful Green Belt landscapes which prevent the merger of settlements.  If you value and wish to keep that character, and prevent the truly huge increase in traffic and air pollution, demand for school places, displacement of wildlife, removal of greenspace where you can walk your dog, stretch your legs run or cycle around – or simply to enjoy a nice view, then we need your financial support so that we can save it on your behalf.





Allerton Bywater



Boston Spa








Halton Moor



High Royds (Menston)








Nether Yeadon







Robin Hood





Tetley Fields







Briony Sloan

Fundraising Team Member, YGA











Leeds Core Strategy Selective Review and what that might mean for the Site Allocation Plan Hearing

Leeds City Council have trumpeted in the press the review of the Leeds overall housing target of 70,000, and its potential reduction to 55,000. They have also proposed the changing of the Core Strategy plan period from 2012 – 2028 to 2017 – 2033.

Good news on the number front! – and a housing target no so far away from that proposed by community groups up to 7 years ago. Leeds catching up as usual…..

So, this means that the Core Strategy (CS) is likely to change, doesn’t it? Change of housing target to 55,000 and change of plan period to 2017 to 2033?

How then can the Site Allocations Plan (SAP)  hearing Inspectors stick to their mantra that they’ll be testing the SAP against the existing 70,000-house CS, when we know the CS will change?

It’s a question YGA has asked the hearing Inspectors, MPs, DCLG Minister Sajid Javid and Planning Minister Alok Sharma. There’s no answer yet. But Alec Shelbrooke MP has raised a written question and an answer to that is expected on 5th September 2017.

Meanwhile YGA has had a definite statement from the SAP Hearing Inspectors that they will not allow housing target and plan period discussion during the SAP hearing.

I can already hear the opening oral statement;  “I know I am not allowed to mention revision of housing target and plan period, but………..”

The Site Allocations hearings start on Tuesday 10th October 2017 and run for 4 weeks on Tuesdays to Thursdays; Fridays will be used for any over-spill business.

Information on the hearing has been published at the Programme Manager’s website.

Martin Hughes, Chair, YGA


Leeds Site Allocation Plan Responses – Number Now Known

YGA has found out the number of responses to the Leeds Site Allocation Changes consultation that was recently held. 

There were 9,097 responses. 194 were made online, 1,981 by email and 6,922 by written submission. Of the latter submissions, 6,342 written submissions were made from Save Parlington in a petition from the group. Responses from Horsforth were second in number to those from the  Parlington group.

The Parlington site is the largest site (thousands of dwellings planned) in the SAP and will use up the most greenbelt.

Strawberry Fields in Horsforth is the second largest site (960 dwellings proposed) and also is currently greenbelt.

In total, about 12,000 individual site comments were made by the 9,097 respondents.

……………and not a single one was considered by Leeds before it submitted the Site Allocation Plan for Leeds to government inspection.

This is one very good reason to help YGA challenge the use of greenbelt at the forthcoming Site Allocation Plan hearing, set for about October 2017. Plesae no go to the Donate page and give what you can. Thank you.

Martin Hughes, Chair, YGA



YGA Stand at Horsforth Gala Raises £465 for Funds

Yorkshire Greenspace Alliance’s stand at the Horsforth Gala on 24th June 2017 saw YGA volunteers working hard for the 5 hours of the show to generate £465.03 of donations to the organisation’s funds.

Thank you for attending and donating, and thank you to the Promotions Team for their hard work, and members of YGA who gave up their time to supervise the stand.

Martin Hughes, Chair