Residents have blasted a council “U-turn” which has led to controversial housing plans being given the green light less than a month after the same plans panel turned them down.
Morley Against Reckless Construction (MARC) campaigners thought the battle was won when an application to build 14 three and four bedroom houses on green fields off Daisy Hill Close, in Morley, was refused in August.
But just weeks later, planning officers brought the plans back to Leeds City Council’s South and West Plans Panel on Thursday citing “additional information” that they said meant there were “insufficient grounds” to refuse planning permission. The panel deferred and delegated the plans for officers to then rubber stamp but campaigners fear it will put further strain on the area’s increasingly crowded schools, trains and bus services.
Wyn Kidger, treasurer at MARC and Morley Town councillor, said: “We just can’t believe they have passed this, they have done a U-turn.
“They are just wanting to fill all our green fields, we are going to end up where there will be no villages and this will be one big amalgamation of houses.”
The development will also include access for at least 28 cars and the construction of gardens and a community open space.
Objections made included highways concerns, the impact this and other developments could have on schools and health centres along with the lack of public transport in the area.
Recommending the plans be given the green light, a report by council officers said: “This is a small scale proposal on an infill site which cannot be said to be unsustainable given its location and relationship to local services and facilities.”
The panel’s decision comes a matter of months after MARC lost their bid to have plans for 92 homes at Daisy Hill refused, while plans for 177 houses on Bruntcliffe Road have also got the go-ahead.
Coun Robert Finnigan (Morley Borough Independents, Morley North) has voiced concerns over a lack of school places, stating that all primary and secondary schools in Morley will be full by 2016 with current residents.
He said: “This will leave large numbers of school children with no place to go. The only option will be to increase class sizes or to crane in portable cabins to deal with this increase. This is offering local children a second class education and this is not acceptable.”
Under the council’s Local Development Framework, it is estimated that up to 7,000 houses could be built across Morley, East Ardsley, Tingley and Churwell within 15 years.
MARC are planning a demonstration in protest at the scale of development facing the Morley area outside Morley Town Hall on September 28 at 11am.