Premier League-backed community football hub planned for east Leeds

Blueprints for brand new community sports hub, including four floodlit pitches and car parks, are set to go before Leeds planning chiefs next week.
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Plans, set to go before decision makers on Leeds City Council’s North and East Plans Panel, would involve building the facility at a site off Thorpe Park Approach, and would include a pavilion and four floodlit artificial grass pitches.

But not everyone is happy with the proposals, as a number of residents have claimed the plans would ruin the ecology and wildlife of what is currently a green space.

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The works, planned by Leeds City Council, would also include a lit footpath link from the Redrow housing development to Austhorpe Primary School, as well as an external sub-station and bin store.

An artist's impression from the design and access statement published by the council. (Pic: Leeds City Council/NPS Group)An artist's impression from the design and access statement published by the council. (Pic: Leeds City Council/NPS Group)
An artist's impression from the design and access statement published by the council. (Pic: Leeds City Council/NPS Group)

According to detailed plans for the scheme published by the council, the site’s pavilion building would include a bar and reception area, community café and meeting rooms with views over the playing pitches and park, and team changing areas.

There would also be a gigantic car park on site, with 227 spaces.

Leeds City Council planning officers said 137 of the 163 letters received from the public about the plans have been negative, with many concerned about the “destruction of farmland”, as well as concern over newts, bats and frogs in the area.

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One read: “This is supposed to be a green park. A new car park, fake football pitches, floodlights and cages aren't green.

“There are loads of football pitches in Temple Newsam. More pitches aren't needed. They will benefit a minority and not the community at large.”

Another read: “How can replacing green field unlit playing pitches, with non-sustainable artificial turf, which will need replacing in the future and which will use large amounts of energy be in any way contributing to reducing greenhouse emissions?

"If this development goes ahead the council will be guilty of facilitating football, whilst compromising the future of those very children it states will benefit from being able to use the pitches.”

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The scheme is funded by the Parklife football programme, a Premier League and Football Association-backed organisation which aims to address the “chronic shortage” of quality football pitches in England.

The planning report concluded: “The principle of developing the scheme on this site is considered appropriate and it will provide wider benefits to the locality and city.

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"The proposal will provide a development which is visually appropriate to its setting and wider locality, paying due care to the design and scale of the hub building, as well as to the wider site and


"The hub building, pitches and associated infrastructure are not considered to give rise to an unacceptable impact on the amenity of the occupants of neighbouring residential areas and will not have a detrimental impact on the other users of the footpaths and bridleways.

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"Overall, the scheme has significant wellbeing/community benefits which are supported by local and national planning policies.”

It suggested panel members agree in principle to the plans, and delegate negotiation of finer details to council planning officers.

Leeds City Council’s North and East Plans Panel will meet to discuss the proposal on Thursday, August 25.