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North Leeds: Plans chiefs to decide fate of girls’ school site

STRONG FEELINGS: Demonstrators at the ex-Leeds Girls High School site. PIC: Magdalena Szymanska

STRONG FEELINGS: Demonstrators at the ex-Leeds Girls High School site. PIC: Magdalena Szymanska

  • by Aisha Iqbal
 

Proposals for new homes and a supermarket on land that includes a former Leeds private school’s playing fields are set to get the go ahead this week.

Campaigners have long fought to preserve the land on Victoria Road, Headingley - part of the former Leeds Girls’ High School - for community use. They recently failed in a bid to get the field and the school’s former indoor sports facilities permanently placed on the Community Asset Register, which would have restricted development.

On Thursday, Leeds council’s Plans Panel for the South and West of the city will reconsider an application by Chartford Homes and Holbeck Land to build a residential development and retail store, after rejecting a previous version of it.

Headingley Labour councillor Neil Walshaw, who has been among those spearheading the campaign against the plans, said the “long term public good” could only be served by preserving the site for the community, He will speak against the application on Thursday.

A report to the plans panel recommends approval of the scheme subject to legal agreements and other minor conditions.

However it acknowledges that “this application is very sensitive and very important to the local community, and very 
careful consideration has been given as to whether grounds for refusal could be substantiated in relation to the loss of the protected playing pitches and buildings”.

Coun Walsh said it was clear the recommendations were made “in sorrow not in joy”.

“The best thing we can hope for is members refuse it,” he said “It would probably go to appeal, but in the meantime a lot can happen.”

 

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