North Leeds new homes plans '˜a disaster waiting to happen' amid flooding fears

CONTROVERSIAL plans to build 135 new homes on land dubbed '˜Soggy Bottom' in north Leeds are recommended for approval despite campaigners' concerns the site is prone to flooding.

Thursday, 12th May 2016, 5:00 am
Michael Lowry enertaining campaigners with his protest song called Soggy Bottom Calypso

Dr Mike Lowry, chairman of Cookridge Residents’ Action Group (CRAG), penned a protest song and a video was filmed of him singing it naked last summer as part of a campaign against Taylor Wimpey UK Ltd’s plans to build a development on land at the rear of Moseley Wood Gardens in Cookridge.

Leeds City Council planners are being recommended to approve the plans at a meeting of the south and west plans panel on May 18, despite concerns over infrastructure and flooding.

In a letter to Floods Minister Rory Stewart MP ahead of the meeting, Dr Lowry wrote: “This is a disaster waiting to happen, and illustrates the disregard by planners for the welfare of their residents.

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“Planners are to recommend the development should go ahead. If it does and thousands of tonnes of building materials are imported onto what is an underground lake, there will be disaster for Leeds from future flooding.”

“The area in question is a bog and acts as a natural soak away, and therefore flood defence for Leeds.

“Despite numerous protests over three years by local residents to planners at Leeds, our evidence-based concerns have been summarily dismissed or ignored.”

A report to the May 18 meeting of Leeds City Council’s south and west plans panel states: “It is considered that the drainage scheme proposed is suitably robust, will ensure that the proposed development will not be at risk of flooding and will ensure the proposed development will not increase flood risk elsewhere.”