Leeds Girls High School site fight goes to public inquiry

The next round in the long-running fight over plans to build housing on the former Leeds Girls High School site is scheduled for this summer.

A public inquiry into the scheme put forward by the applicants, Morley House Trust, will be held over three weeks in June.

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After negotiations spanning two years the council's west plans panel last November rejected a recommendation from planning officers that the application – which had attracted over 1,300 objections – be approved.

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Because the planning application had been with the council for so long, the Morley House Trust appealed on the grounds of non-determination.

The appeal will be heard by the public inquiry inspector, who will take

evidence from all parties before ruling whether or not the scheme should be given consent.

Members of the plans panel were told that the inquiry would be held in Leeds and that the council would appoint a barrister to deal with its case.

At the inquiry the council intends to argue that the proposals for new housing on the Headingley site would be out of scale and would harm the character and appearance of the Headingley conservation area.

The plan proposes demolition of part of the main school building.

The council will also argue that this would result in the loss of a building that makes a positive contribution to the conservation area.

Meanwhile, panel members have voiced concerns over plans to build 550 homes at the Clariant and Riverside mills sites, which stand alongside each other off the Outer Ring Road at Horsforth.

Councillors for Horsforth and Calverley wards, Horsforth Town Council, Leeds Civic Trust, Stuart Andrew MP (Con, Pudsey) and Horsforth Civic Society are among those objecting to the scheme.

Coun Elizabeth Nash (Lab, City and Hunslet) was concerned that Calverley Lane would struggle to cope with the amount of traffic the housing scheme would generate.

While Coun Jamie Matthews (Lib Dem, Headingley) argued junctions in the area would struggle to cope with increased traffic levels.

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