Setback for Leeds angling school plan

PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
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A plan to turn a dam in Leeds into an angling academy will live to fight another day after a council panel deferred its final decision.

As previously reported in the YEP, businessman and lifelong fishing fan Adrian Addy wants to redevelop the Billing Dam site in Rawdon and build a visitor centre and house next to the water.

He is hoping that local youngsters as well as keen anglers will use the new facility, which would be the first of its kind in Yorkshire.

The application has now come to a Leeds City Council planning panel twice without success, but Mr Addy is hoping it will be third time lucky.

A report presented to the South and West Plans Panel yesterday had recommended refusal of the application, citing environmental concerns,

The report said: “It is considered that the proposed development is unacceptable as the proposed buildings associated with

the use of the site are considered to be inappropriate in the Green Belt; and no special circumstances have been demonstrated which would outweigh the harm caused.”

Despite officers’ recommendation to refuse, councillors gave their broad support to the scheme, and asked Mr Addy to come back with more information.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Addy said: “We live to fight another day. It’s looking more positive from where it was and there was a high level of support from councillors.”

The application will be reconsidered later this year. The panel has asked for more information about how local schools - as well as angling syndicates - will use the facility.

Questions were also raised yesterday about how the project and the associated buildings would be financed.

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