Hundreds sign petition opposing plans for thousands of homes on Leeds greenbelt

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Hundreds of people have signed a petition that opposes plans to build thousands of new homes on green belt land in Leeds.

Avid walker John Bates, 36, has set up the petition after Leeds City Council proposed to create up to 1,080 homes near the HM Young Offender Institution to the east of Wetherby.

The idea forms part of a long-term Site Allocations Plan to build 66,000 homes across the city until 2028.

A public consultation is being carried out until November 7 this year about the Aberford and Wetherby sites earmarked for more than 3,000 homes.

This comes after Leeds University announced last autumn it no longer wished to pursue plans to develop on a 600-acre plot near Headley Hall between Bramham and Tadcaster, after a decision by its governing council.

Assistant headteacher Mr Bates said: “This is reckless development in a desperate pursuit of the council’s own targets.

“We need houses that are affordable for people to buy in areas that they can work and live. These green belt sites proposed are not providing houses for the people of Leeds.”

He added: “The danger is that all these lovely communities, these market towns, will become the suburbs of Leeds.”

The petition has so far reached 390 signatures.

A council spokeswoman said: “While taking into account local concerns, we also need to balance that with the needs of the city as a whole and the importance of having a framework in place to guide all development in Leeds up to 2028.”

She said the plans are subject to consultation, which will continue before the plans are presented to the Government.

Visit www.change.org and search for ‘Protect Yorkshire’s Countryside’ to see the petition.

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