Leeds charity garden looks set to be saved

Campaigners at The Inkwell, Potternewton Lane, Leeds, pictured in December last year.
Campaigners at The Inkwell, Potternewton Lane, Leeds, pictured in December last year.
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Controversial plans to build nine flats on land used as a garden by a mental health charity in Leeds are set to be refused today.

A report to today’s North East Plans Panel has recommended councillors refuse the proposal to develop nine apartments on land behind Inkwell art centre - the former Shoulder of Mutton pub on Potternewton Lane in Chapel Allerton.

The area is currently used to grow vegetables for a cafe and provide activities for people with mental health issues who attend the centre, which is run by Mind.

Service users, volunteers and local residents have been rallying against the plans since they were submitted to Leeds City Council.

Campaigners also set up a Facebook group and a website at www.saveinkwellgardens.co.uk and over 1,000 people have signed a petition in protest.

The report to today’s committee says: “The development would remove a garden area which is part of a recognised community facility and as such would adversely impact on the health and wellbeing of the facilities’ users who are a particularly vulnerable section of society.”

The report went on to say: “No satisfactory alternative provision is made within the submission to off-set this loss” and that the proposal is contrary to council strategy which “seeks to support development that improves health, social and cultural wellbeing”.

Losa Marl, who has attended Inkwell for four years, previously told the YEP she feared that losing the garden would put at risk the centre which had been a lifeline to her and many others. She said: “It has given me a reason to get out of bed and out of the house. If I didn’t have this place nobody would know if I got ill. It’s so vital.”