Micklefield homes plan nears reality despite concerns over allotment space

Plans to build more than 100 new homes in a Leeds village have edged closer to reality, despite concerns that local allotment space will be wiped out.
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Part of the proposed site, off Pit Lane in the village, is currently used by allotment holders to cultivate plants and food.

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Taylor Wimpey said it plans to move the tenants to a smaller site on the land to make way for the homes - a move the holders themselves have agreed to.

An artist's impression of how the scheme will look.An artist's impression of how the scheme will look.
An artist's impression of how the scheme will look.

But objectors said there was too much local demand for allotment space to justify the move.

A Leeds City Council planning meeting on Thursday was told that the developers had made concessions over several aspects of the scheme to satisfy some of the concerns of local people.

But local councillor James Lewis said even though some of the allotment plots were currently vacant, Micklefield's growing population meant the space needed to be retained.

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Objecting to the plans, he told the meeting: "Speaking to residents in the village, it's clear that if they'd known these plots were available, they'd have sought out the landowners and would have looked to take them on.

The site where the homes are likely to be built.The site where the homes are likely to be built.
The site where the homes are likely to be built.

"Elsewhere in Micklefield there is considerable housing development, so we're going to see an expansion of the population by around a third or a half.

"I believe this is the only allotment site currently active in Micklefield. The plots could be filled, though they aren't at the moment.

"With lockdown the interest in people growing their own food has increased and this will be the only site where they're able to do it."

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But the developers said the new arrangement would help preserve the future of the allotments.

The meeting was told that the current plots are run by the landowner and there was "no guarantee" they would continue to be there in the long-term, regardless of the development.

Under the new proposals, the allotment holders will take over the management over their own site.

Planning agent Mark Johnson, speaking on behalf of the developer, said: "Whether there's demand or not, we've sought throughout this process to work closely with the tenants

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"The idea is that we get those 16 tenants to go into the new site, and yes the plots are smaller in area, but they are of better quality."

"I don't want this to come across as a threat, because it's absolutely not, but it's possible that at some point in the future, the (current) allotments won't exist at all."

Councillors praised the designs of the new homes, as well as other aspects of the scheme and unanimously agreed to defer a decision to officers to make.

Local Democracy Reporting Service