Bid to stave off development in north Leeds woods

Martin Calvert, Peter & Robbie Foulston, Joan & Mervyn Clayton of the Friends of Gledhow Valley Woods, pictured in 2014.
Martin Calvert, Peter & Robbie Foulston, Joan & Mervyn Clayton of the Friends of Gledhow Valley Woods, pictured in 2014.
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A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to buy an area of north Leeds woodland as part of a bid to prevent development on the site.

Friends of Gledhow Valley Woods (FGVW) are hoping to raise £28,500 to prevent the woods from being taken over by developers.

They have already raised more than £11,000 towards their goal and hope to raise further funds by April 22, when all the bids have to be submitted to the private landowner selling the one acre site.

Martin Calvert, chairman of FGVW said: “Last year two of the fields were the subject of a planning application on the site. The application was turned down by Leeds City council after a lot of local objections.

“However one of the fields is now up for sale. We now want to buy the site to prevent any further applications on the site as there is already a lot of industrial interest in the site. This makes it even more urgent that we get hold of some funding so we can buy the site and prevent it from being purchased for development. We want to keep the site secure and use it for the benefit of wildlife.”

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 City councillors who said that it would harm the character and appearance of the site. Developers then launched an appeal in September last year, but this was also rejected by councillors.

FGVW said that if they were to secure the site, they would for community use and promote public access.

Some campaigners argue that more money needs to spent on improving the site. One, Frank Neary, from Moortown, said the restoration of the lake on the site should be made a priority.

For more information about the fundraising bid visit https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/Friends-of-Gledhow-Valley-Woods.

Joanne Mjadzelics

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