Victory for Leeds campaigners over 400-home plan

Coun Andrew Carter and Stuart Andrew MP
Coun Andrew Carter and Stuart Andrew MP
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Campaigners are celebrating after plans to build hundreds of homes in west Leeds were thrown out by the Secretary of State.

Eric Pickles MP and the planning inspector have rejected the controversial plans to build 400 homes on Kirklees Knoll in Farsley - a decision today dubbed a ‘real victory for localism’ by objectors.

The long-running battle had seen an appeal lodged in 2012 by the developer, Thornhill Estates, after Leeds City Council failed to reach a decision on the plans within the allocated time frame.

Public inquiries were subsequently held into the plans before the Secretary of State called in the application in 2013, as it exceeded the 150-home development limit. Stuart Andrew MP yesterday paid tribute to the campaigners, including the Farsley Residents Action Group, who had worked “tirelessly” for a number of years on the plans.

He said: “I am sure they will all join me in celebrating the decision and it is fantastic to see that all of their hard work has now paid off and it is fantastic to see that all of their hard work has now paid off. The decision by the Secretary of State and the Planning Inspector is a real victory for localism and it is pleasing to see that the Government is listening to the views of local people.”

The reasons given for the proposal’s rejection included it was ‘contrary to Leeds UDP policy’ and would have ‘adverse impacts on local character and identity’.

Coun Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive member for neighbourhoods, planning and personnel, also welcomed the decision. He said: “The length of time it has taken the Secretary of State to reach this point has been disappointing and caused some anxiety for the local community, but we are pleased this matter has now been resolved.”