Campaigners vow to continue fighting plans for 400 homes in west Leeds

Kirklees Knoll at Farsley
Kirklees Knoll at Farsley
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A DEVELOPER is seeking a judicial review over the secretary of state’s decision earlier this year to reject controversial plans to build hundreds of homes in west Leeds.

Campaigners celebrated in March this year after Eric Pickles and the planning inspector threw out plans by Thornhill Estates Ltd to build 400 homes on Kirklees Knoll in Farsley.

Reasons given for the proposal’s rejection included it was contrary to Leeds Unitary Development Plan policy and would have adverse impacts on local character and identity’.

Now Thornhill Estates is challenging that decision.

The company has submitted an appeal to the High Court of Justice Queens Bench Division Planning Court.

Mark Joslin, spokesman for Farsley Residents Action Group (FRAG), said: “FRAG’s view is that the developer’s High Court action is unwarranted in light of the recent decision and does not lend itself to the views already expressed by local residents.

“FRAG supports the decision made by both the planning inspector and the secretary of state and will continue to battle against developers in order to ensure that Kirklees Knoll remains undeveloped.”

No date has yet been set at the High Court for the judicial review hearing.

Interested parties are listed as Farsley Residents Action Group and Leeds City Council.

A Leeds City Council spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that we have been notified of the judicial review against the secretary of state.”

Thornhill Estates lodged an appeal in 2012 after Leeds City Council failed to reach a decision on the plans within the allocated time frame.

Public inquiries were subsequently held into the plans before the secretary of state called in the application in 2013, as it exceeded the 150-home development limit.

Thornhill Estates yesterday declined to comment on the company’s judicial review application.