Plans for Headingley student flats rejected

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A Leeds community has been victorious in its campaign to prevent student accommodation being built on a playing field after a council inspector rejected the plans.

Yorvale and Maple Grove Developments had applied to construct seven housing blocks on the site in Headingley, providing 262 living spaces.

But several community groups, including the Hyde Park Neighbourhood Forum, the South Headingley Community Association and the Hyde Park Olympic Legacy Group opposed the plans, arguing that it would destroy one of the only inner-city green spaces in Leeds.

The protesters also pointed out that the site, between Victoria Road and Chestnut Avenue, is the only area suitable for a grass playing field for local primary schools.

Leeds City Council had previously rejected the developer’s application in September 2015 after which the company launched an appeal.

But last week the plans were again rejected by Government inspector Paul Singleton following an inquiry and a visit to the site in October. In his report Mr Singleton said: “I conclude that the proposal would be located in an area with an existing excessive concentration of student accommodation that has had, and continues to have, a significant detrimental effect on the balance and well-being of the communities in that area.”

Leeds North West MP Greg Mulholland, who also opposed the development, said he was “delighted” with the council’s decision. He said: “The application was wholly inappropriate and also would have seen the loss of the playing field.

“Leeds City should now seek to buy the site to secure it for school and community use for generations to come.”

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