Video: Campaigner’s cheeky protest over Leeds development

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Protestors against plans to build more than 100 new homes in Leeds on a site dubbed ‘Soggy Bottom’ have shown a cheeky side to their campaign.

Mike Lowry, chairman of Cookridge Residents’ Action Group (CRAG) has filmed a naked protest video to further object to the scheme by Taylor Wimpey to build homes on land at the rear of Moseley Wood Gardens in Cookridge.

Mike Lowry, of CRAG, performs a naked protest video aganist plans to develop on land in Cookridge.

Mike Lowry, of CRAG, performs a naked protest video aganist plans to develop on land in Cookridge.

Leeds City Council planners gave outline permission in December last year for 135 homes on the greenfield site despite concerns over infrastructure and flooding.

Mike’s video - in which he plays a strategically-placed guitar and sings in the middle of the field at risk of development - was posted onto the ‘Streets of Cookridge’ Facebook page and has so far attracted nearly 1,300 views.

He said: “We are absolutely furious that we are just being ignored. We needed to get people interested enough and know that we have a very strong case.”

CRAG has requested a meeting with the council’s chief planning officer Tim Hill over fears that further groundwater investigations are urgently needed on the site. Having hired their own hydrogeology expert who has studied Taylor Wimpey’s report, Mike said they believe the developer has not yet answered why the site is so wet or where the water is coming from. Supporter Coun Barry Anderson (Cons, Adel and Wharfedale) said: “The council’s stance on the investigations to resolve the drainage issues is very disappointing. They are not able to confirm that the solution being put forward will be adequate to deal with the drainage issues on the site.”

Singing protest: CRAG campaigners pictured in 2013 when chairman Mike Lowry penned another  song called Soggy Bottom Calypso.

Singing protest: CRAG campaigners pictured in 2013 when chairman Mike Lowry penned another song called Soggy Bottom Calypso.

A Leeds City Council spokesman said: “We can confirm receipt of a letter this week from Cookridge Residents Action Group, and we are now looking to set up a meeting in the next few weeks to discuss the issues raised.”

A spokesperson for Taylor Wimpey Yorkshire said: “Taylor Wimpey has maintained a keen focus on working with the local community to ensure that we deliver quality housing, while adhering to all council requirements and the outline planning permission.

“A number of planning conditions have been set by the council, as part of the outline planning permission, which must be satisfied before any development will be permitted, and we are working closely with professional consultants to ensure all such matters are resolved.”

To view the video, visit the YEP’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/YEP.newspaper.

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