Leeds town ‘under attack’ from swathes of housing development

Brian and Lesley Powell who are against a development on a field behind their Wetherby home.
 PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
Brian and Lesley Powell who are against a development on a field behind their Wetherby home. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
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Homeowners in a Leeds town have hit out at a raft of planning applications which will bring more than 1,500 homes to their doorstep and have left them feeling “under attack from unwanted and speculative developments”.

Wide-ranging proposals to increase housing in the area include a blueprint for more than 800 units near the Young Offenders Institute to the east of Wetherby, 200 houses on the Harrogate side of Spofforth Hill, 120 at Kings Meadow View and additional housing on the North Yorkshire side of the boundary.

This adds to schemes already approved and underway on Spofforth Hill and Sandbeck Lane.

Locals say they are particularly worried about impact on the character of the town, lack of infrastructure and the fact that the rural views for which they paid a premium will be completely blocked.

Wetherby councillor John Procter said: “Wetherby is under attack and these volume house builders are inundating our town with speculative and totally unwanted housing proposals.

“This could impact on the market town character of Wetherby and clearly existing schools and roads would also be under severe stress. The proposals are just not realistic.”

Among the concerned homeowners are Brian and Lesley Powell, who have lived in Aire Road for more than 30 years.

Last week, they and their neighbours received a letter from developer Persimmon laying out proposals for 120 homes on 1.2 hectares of green belt farmland immediately in front of their house.

The retired couple are especially worried about lack of access, which they say is proposed via a single point at nearby Kings Meadow,

And they say the land is also on a flood plain which floods every winter.

“The land is really just unsuitable,” Mr Powell said.

“The letter refers to a ‘residential interface’.

“But it will completely take away our privacy. Everybody is opposing it.”

The applicant is holding a three-week public consultation.

Peter Sutcliffe.

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