New Leeds village scheme comes under fire

Bernard Crooks, Peter Locke and John Richardson Chairman of Thorp Arch Parish Council.
Bernard Crooks, Peter Locke and John Richardson Chairman of Thorp Arch Parish Council.
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Plans to build a new village on the site of a former World War Two ammunitions factory in Leeds have come under fire from residents.

Thorp Arch Trading Estate has been the subject of a number of controversial planning applications by owners, Rockspring Hanover Property Unit Trust (RHPUT), in the last ten years.

The latest proposals, brought forward by St Congar Land on behalf of Rockspring, would see up to 1,000 houses, a care home, a primary school, local shops and a new community centre built on the land of the former Royal Ordnance Factory.

The scaled-down plans, which will be displayed at a public exhibition on Tuesday, see half the number of houses proposed by Rockspring than in the previous planning application, which was dropped at the start of this year.

Tony Blackburn, director at St Congar Land, said: “Having listened to feedback on the previous applications, the new proposals for Rudgate Village are significantly smaller and we hope address concerns that have been voiced before.”

But for Peter Locke, chairman of the Thorp Arch Trading Estate Action Group (TAG) and resident of Thorp Arch Park, the plans are still deemed unacceptable. Mr Locke said: “We have been fighting this very hard for the last three years. We were very relieved when the plans were withdrawn at the start of this year but now Rockspring have come back with exactly what they started.

“In some ways 1,000 houses is only half as bad as 2,000.

“It is just not a sustainable place to put housing.”

The public exhibition will be open from 3pm to 8pm at Unit 603, Avenue D, Thorp Arch Estate.