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Daily Archives: August 16, 2013
WHY PROTECT THE GREENBELT?
The village has consistently supported the preservation of the greenbelt – back in 1993 BAG was formed because of the pressure by landowners and housebuilders to take large areas in and around the village out of the protection the greenbelt provides. The Planning Inspector for the then UDP rejected the claims that building on these spaces would be ‘natural infill’.
In the emerging Bardsey Neighbourhood Village Plan, residents wanted greenbelt protection to be given the highest priority.
The Leeds City Council has also indicated that it is against development in the greenbelt surrounding the village. Leeds strategy is to prefer development on more sustainable locations, often ‘brownfield’ sites that would be supported by greater infrastructure – railway links, shops, schools, doctors etc.
This consensus comes from a belief that the purpose of the greenbelt is to prevent development sprawl, whereby one community or village becomes indistinguishable from the next one, especially along major roads such as the A58, where there are poor public transport links.
Much of the agricultural land along the A58 from Wetherby to the ring road at Wellington Hill has far more value as building land than it does for farming. Much of it is already owned as part of the ‘landbanks’ built up by developers such as Evans of Leeds.
The nature of the historic development within Bardsey is in contrast to other nearby settlements. There are distinct areas separated by large open spaces that help provide the unique character of the village. Most residents agree that it would be beneficial to have better links between these areas, to avoid the A58. But not at the expense of losing the greenbelt.
The danger is that if one site is given approval for development how quickly will the others be lined up? Leeds has scarce resources to fight every case, and the developers know that.