Action group to fight plans for former high school site

Leeds Girls High School site, pictured from left, Katherine Mitchell, Sue Buckle, Pam Bone, Hazel Blears MP, Coun Judith Blake and Lesley Jeffries
Leeds Girls High School site, pictured from left, Katherine Mitchell, Sue Buckle, Pam Bone, Hazel Blears MP, Coun Judith Blake and Lesley Jeffries
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CAMPAIGNERS are set to form an action group over plans to build homes on the site of a sports hall and swimming pool at a former Leeds school.

As reported in the YEP, developers have submitted plans to build 25 homes and a convenience store with eight flats on the Leeds Girls High School site on Victoria Road, Headingley.

Around 50 people attended a public meeting about the scheme earlier this week, where it was decided to form an action group to campaign for the sports facilities to be made available for community use.

Residents are also hoping Sport England will issue a statutory objection to the plans, submitted to Leeds City Council by developers Chartford Homes and Holbeck Land.

The firm has told residents that the scheme would include some green space, which may be available for use by the community and local schools.

Sue Buckle, chair of the South Headingley Community Association, said: “The developers say there will be some community benefit but from our point of view, once that field has been built on, it’s gone forever, and there must be other avenues to explore.”

The swimming pool and sports hall has not been used since Leeds Girls High School pupils moved into The Grammar School at Leeds site in Alwoodley in September 2008.

Campaigners say they should be made available for community use because of high obesity rates and a lack of existing facilities in Hyde Park.

As reported in the YEP last year, campaigners lost their bid to ensure ‘protected’ status for the tennis courts because ‘replacement’ courts had been built at the Alwoodley site.

The outcome of the inquiry gave developers the green light to submit plans for the site.

However, the YEP understands that there has been no new swimming pool or sports hall constructed at the Alwoodley site following the merger, and therefore Sport England may object to the proposals.

A Sport England spokesperson said: “Sport England will object to any application that will lead to a reduction in community sport provision.

“We will continue to work with the council and applicant to try to secure the best outcome for sport.”

Anybody who wants to get involved with the group should call Sue Buckle on 07796 784018.

Tracy Basu, Bramley Baths chief executive and operations manager Courtney Harrison

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