Decision due on Leeds angling academy

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A PROPOSAL for a new ‘angling academy’ in Leeds is to be debated by planning chiefs today.

Leeds City Council’s South and West Plans panel was due to consider the application by Billing Dam Fishery in Billing View, Rawdon, at its meeting today. (Oct 22)

There has been a mixed response to the project from locals – with a flurry of letters both for and against it sent to decision-makers. Supporters say the new academy would provide a “valuable resource” for locals, especially young people and schools.

They add that the site has been used as a fishery for more than 30 years but has recently become run down and a target for anti-social behaviour. Revamping it into a fishing school would help reverse that, it is hoped.

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However there have also been objections from people worried about increased traffic, lack of adequate parking and negative impact on the rural setting.

A report to the plans panel says that objectors feel “the need for the academy building has not been demonstrated”. There is particular concern that Billing View is already “heavily” used for parking by residents, as well as by visitors to a nearby pub and cricket pitch, and the fishery would “exacerbate the current situation” and cause a road hazard.

Council officers are recommending refusal of the application, with their report saying the proposal “represents inappropriate development in the Green Belt...which would outweigh the harm caused to the Green Belt”. They add that the proposed building and its retaining structure would be “visually intrusive and harmful to their rural setting” and some of its design features are “unsympathetic and contextually inappropriate”.

The application is for one main building comprising of a house with an attached “angling academy”, as well as a retaining wall to create a levelled car parking area.

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