YEP Letters: January 26

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‘Soggy Bottom’ homes scheme must be halted

David Eyre, Cookridge

Leeds Council is still intending to allow the building of 135 houses on land in Cookridge, known locally as “Soggy Bottom”, despite officials ADMITTING that the ground is “waterlogged”.

The developer, Taylor Wimpey, has failed to provide the information regarding the sources and extent of water flow, which the council originally requested. DESPITE this, and despite the recent flooding, the council wants to allow the development!

The green fields in question are wet all year round, but can contain some of the rainfall during severe downpours. Draining this land into Moseley Beck will ultimately affect the River Aire.

As noted by a recent study by The University of Salford: “If we do improve the drainage on the floodplains ….then we will increase the speed that the water gets into the main channel.”

Also, the more houses and roads that are built on fields, then less of the excess water can be retained. A report from Yorkshire Water (“Adapting to Climate Change, 2015), explains this:“ This is known as ‘urban creep’ and results in less infiltration and more run-off into sewers. Research carried out by Mott MacDonald for Ofwat suggests urban creep could increase the risk of sewer flooding by around 12 per cent by the 2040s, with climate change adding another 27 per cent increase.”

“Climate change is expected to add to the pressures mentioned above by increasing the number of intense rainfall events...future climate change projections suggest there could be almost five times more events exceeding 28 mm in one hour than in the current climate”. Surely, given all these concerns, this development MUST be halted. Keep green field sites alongside becks and rivers, and build on the many brownfield sites instead.

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Will common sense prevail?

Carol Lee, by email

Leeds MPs including Rachel Reeves are going to spend an hour with Liz Truss the Environment Secretary to demand a £180m scheme re flood defences at Kirkstall.

We welcome their concern but I would suggest that they also spend an hour with Leeds planners who give permission to build on flood sodden green fields.

Leeds city planners stubbornly believe that the insertion of a few pipes draining water into Moseley Beck will enable Taylor Wimpey to build 135 houses on Moseley (Soggy) Bottom in Cookridge.

The beck, which is overflowing at the moment, runs from this site to the River Aire which is 1.8 miles away. It is not just the Aire at Kirkstall which will be more swollen and not just the new houses built on this proposed site that will be affected but also the railway line near Horsforth which has had several incidents of flooding and also the properties downstream by the beck such as at Cornmill View where the beck is very high even in dry weather.

Soggy Bottom, like many green fields that are being developed, acts as a natural soakaway for rainwater pouring down the slopes of Cookridge. Will common sense ever prevail?

Citybus isn’t very useful

Martin J Phillips, Leeds 16

With regard to Paul Robinson’s article about the Leeds Citybus (Saturday, January 23) it is interesting to note that while the Leeds Citybus fare is increasing by 100 per cent, the passengers on the Citybuses in Wakefield, Dewsbury, Bradford and Huddersfield travel free.

What is most annoying about the price increase in Leeds is that the Citybus is not all that useful: In Wakefield, for example, their Citybus route includes places like out-of-town retail parks and the Hepworth Museum.

The Leeds Citybus route does not even include the Crown Point shopping park or the Royal Armouries.

Playhouse is for the ‘elite’

Liz Goodwill, by email

I wholeheartedly agree with A Hague’s comments regarding the West Yorkshire Playhouse. This is somewhere for shall we say the “elite” to go, meanwhile in this “glorious city”, there are people in their later years being either left without care, or moved from pillar to post when old folks homes close down, children left without educational support, homeless and people with mental health issues left to fend for themselves.

But hey, build a new shopping centre, revamp the playhouse, extend the cycle lane, because obviously that’s far more important! Maybe our so called councillors ought to remember the elections in May.

Charity support

Colin Brook, Revitalise

Why not do something for charity in 2016 and make a real difference to the lives of others?

I work for a charity called Revitalise, which provides much-needed respite breaks for disabled people and carers up and down the UK. The breaks they take with us enable them to regain their strength and restore their ability to cope. But we couldn’t do what we do without the energy and generosity of our supporters, who take part in fundraising events, volunteer at our centres and donate to our cause. So go on, resolve to support Revitalise in 2016! Find out how at www.revitalise.org.uk or call 0303 303 0147.

Katya Jones with her celebrity partner Joe McFadden

YEP Letters: December 9