Leeds campaigners lose fight to stop housing

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CAMPAIGNERS have lost their fight to stop hundreds of homes being built on the outskirts of Leeds.

Persimmon Homes and Taylor Wimpey have won a planning appeal allowing them to develop up to 400 new homes off the A64 at Grimes Dyke, Whinmoor.

It is another in a series of planning decisions overturned.

And a senior Leeds councillor has warned the decision could prompt more planning applications for housing resulting in the “suburbanisation” of a currently open area.

It is the latest in a string of planning appeal defeats for the council, which has sought to protect greenfield sites from development.

The council refused planning consent for the Grimes Dyke scheme and the developers lodged an appeal. Following a public inquiry, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has accepted the inspector’s recommendation that the application be granted.

A report on the implications of the Grimes Dyke and other housing appeal decisions will be considered by the council’s executive board next month.

Coun Peter Gruen (Lab, Cross Gates and Whinmoor), pictured, executive member for housing and neighbourhoods, said: “As one of the ward members I am very disappointed because we led the campaign against this application.

“There is some fantastic wildlife up there and the area is very much appreciated by pupils at Whitelaithes Primary School who have done some excellent work about the wildlife.

“We also think it could be the first of other developments around York Road leading to the suburbanisation of the area.”

He said the council recognised that more housing was needed and argued that previously developed land – brownfield sites – also needed to be used for new housing.

He said: “Plans to build on easy to develop greenfield sites should be coupled with more difficult to develop brownfield sites.”

The developers have argued in planning documents submitted to the council that their proposal will improve the quality and mix of housing in the area and provide a range of community benefits.

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