Maltkiln: Fears that development of 4,000 homes near Leeds could cause more traffic misery in Wetherby
Concerns have been raised regarding plans for a huge 4,000-home new development to the north of Leeds.
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North Yorkshire Council is in the process of securing permission to build the 'new town' of Maltkiln around Cattal Station, which is a seven-and-a-half mile drive from Wetherby.
As the plans gradually move forward, Wetherby councillors and residents have raised concerns that the plans could create further strain on the "already congested roads, parking spaces and inadequate public transport services".
North Yorkshire Council is still considering whether to issue a compulsory purchase order (CPO) to buy farming land on the site to allow developer Caddick Group to build the homes and a 100-page document that outlines how the new settlement could be developed has been sent to the secretary of state.
Harrogate Borough Council worked on the development plan document (DPD) for several years before handing it over to the unitary authority due to local government reorganisation.
The development is being advertised as a suitable place for Leeds commuters to live
, though councillors for the Wetherby district Penny Stables and Alan Lamb have said that it is something locals are not aware of.
North Yorkshire Council’s assistant director for planning, Trevor Watson, said: “The new settlement at Maltkiln presents an opportunity to deliver a significant number of homes in a sustainable location centred on an existing railway line, while ensuring that infrastructure and facilities can be provided on site.
“The principle of the new settlement in this location was established in the adopted Harrogate District Local Plan and the draft Maltkiln Development Plan Document (DPD) that it is going before North Yorkshire Council’s full council on February 21 and which sets out a clear and ambitious framework for how Maltkiln should be delivered. It aims to create a mixed-use settlement where people have access to homes, a range of employment types, local services and facilities, public transport and open spaces.
“The draft DPD, which was developed in consultation with community groups and specialist organisations, includes a number of policies relating to access and transport links. These require that the Maltkiln development is designed and developed in a way that reduces the need to travel and encourages sustainable modes of transport both within the settlement and in connections to neighbouring areas.
“When considering cross boundary issues, we regularly engage with neighbouring authorities. Leeds City Council was a key party engaged throughout the Harrogate District Local Plan process where Maltkiln was included as part of the growth strategy and we have continued to work with colleagues at the authority in preparation of the DPD.
“Both councils have agreed to work together to consider the impacts on the transport network arising from the proposed link road and consider appropriate mitigation if necessary.
“If full council agrees to submit the draft DPD to the Secretary of State, an inspector will be appointed to carry out an independent examination.”
A spokesperson for Leeds City Council said: “Like all councils, we monitor a wide range of regional and national planning matters and liaise with relevant authorities as to how schemes elsewhere might affect our own communities.
“We are aware of these early-stage proposals for the Maltkiln development, with planning officers having already met with North Yorkshire Council to discuss them.
“Leeds City Council notes that, in accordance with national planning policy, the proposed site for the development is in a sustainable location on a main line train route. We also note that the plans for the scheme include the provision of infrastructure and services.
“We have asked North Yorkshire Council for active travel elements to be prioritised as the scheme takes further shape, along with measures to encourage the use of public transport rather than the car.
“We have also asked for transport modelling to be carried out to assess the potential impact of the proposed development on Leeds’s roads.”