Footpath will avoid Leeds crime-hit estate

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A PLANNED new footpath next to the River Aire at Kirkstall will not divert through an industrial estate after fears were raised about security.

Coun John Illingworth (Kirkstall/Labour) has applied for planning permission for a new footpath and footbridge to be created on Leeds City Council-owned land next to the St Ann’s Mills industrial estate.

A report to a meeting of the council’s city plans panel on January 19 reveals that proposals previously included routing part of the footpath through the industrial estate.

The report states: “This estate has suffered from a history of anti-social behaviour and criminal activity which includes break-in, arson, vandalism, trespass and illicit activities.”

Councillors will be told that gates have been installed at the industrial estate and diverting the footpath into the estate would mean the gates would have to be modified or removed.

The plans are recommended for approval. The report states: “This route would link up existing footpaths on the riverside adjacent to the Leeds Rhinos Rugby Academy pitches and the Goitside walk along Abbey Mill Goit, with a view to enabling the creation of a larger park within the Kirkstall Valley, improving public access to greenspace and the riverside.”

The new footpath is recommended for approval at the planning meeting.