Leeds ‘Soggy Bottom’ campaigners lose the battle

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Campaigners who fought unsuccessfully against proposals to build up to 200 new homes on a site dubbed “Soggy Bottom” say the decision will prove a “disaster”.

Local residents and politicians joined forces to object against the scheme on land at the rear of Moseley Wood Gardens, in Cookridge. They say the land is a flood risk, and developments should be targeted at brownfield sites rather than greenfield ones.

However a Leeds City Council Plans Panel has just granted approval for the scheme.

Chairman of Cookridge Residents Action Group Michael Lowry, who penned a song called Soggy Bottom Calypso during the battle to stop the scheme getting planning approval - and even held a naked protest - said permission had been granted “against all the evidence of increased flood risk and lack of proper investigations”.

Speaking after the crucial decision earlier this week, he claimed council planners had “refused to revise an earlier decision to grant outline approval, despite calls for proper industry standard investigations”. “This means the flood-prone site is highly likely to contribute to worsening flooding in Leeds,” he said.

Local MP Greg Mulholland had also been among those who submitted letters of objection against the development by Taylor Wimpey.

“Heads should roll, as someone in the future - those paying council taxes - will foot the bill for this disaster,” Mr Lowry said.

A Leeds City Council spokesperson said: “The South and West Plans Panel considered and approved a reserved matters application submitted by Taylor Wimpey UK Ltd for the development of 135 dwellings, including means of vehicular access, siting design and the formation of significant areas of publicly accessible greenspace. During the discussion full consideration was made of drainage issues relating to the site.”