Bid in to buy north Leeds field after community campaign

Campaigners at the site off Gledhow Valley Road

Campaigners at the site off Gledhow Valley Road

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A COMMUNITY group have succeeded in their attempt to bid for a woodland field to prevent it from being developed.

Friends of Gledhow Valley Woods (FGVW) launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise £28,500 when part of the green space – which has previously been the subject of planning applications – went up for sale.

Thanks to huge support from the community, the group raised just over their target and put a bid in to the private landowner.

They are now waiting to hear whether their bid for the one acre site has been successful.

Martin Calvert, chairman of FGVW, said the group had been “humbled” by the generosity of local people and businesses.

“We’ve never done anything like this before and we didn’t know how it would do.

“It just shows how strongly people feel about Gledhow Valley Woods and want to keep it a green corridor.

“We have had donations from £5 to over £1,000 and from about 400 people altogether.”

He said that a significant amount had come through cheques handed over directly from residents, rather than the online giving page.

“A huge thank you to everyone who has helped make this possible,” he added.

The Catholic Diocese of Leeds and a private landowner, who own adjacent fields off Gledhow Valley Road in Chapel Allerton, had previously submitted a planning application to build 14 homes on the site last year.

The application was rejected by Leeds councillors, a decision which was appealed but the appeal was also rejected.

If the FGVW bid for one of the fields is not accepted, donors will be refunded, but if the sale goes through, further donations will be needed for legal costs. Visit https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/Friends-of-Gledhow-Valley-Woods.

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