Letter of Objection

How to object to the application

Once you have read the information below, please draft out your objection:

• Read the guidance in the poster about what to say. Remember particularly that your wording needs to be unique and personal to yourself. Please do not simply copy the whole guidance verbatim, as this will just be regarded by the Council as the same representation repeated. You may want to focus on those of the 10 “Grounds of objection” listed that are most relevant to you.

• See examples of Objection Comments already made against the application.

• There is more guidance on how to comment on planning applications on the Leeds City Council website.

Grounds of objection

1. The application site is part of the Leeds statutory Green Belt. National Planning Policy states that such designation is intended to be permanent and only changed in exceptional circumstances through the review of the Local Plan. The site performs an important Green Belt function and should be protected for this purpose. The current planning application is contrary to national planning policy in relation to Green Belt protection.

2. While Leeds City Council has made an initial proposal to re-designate the site for housing in the draft Site Allocations Plan, despite previous assessments that it was unsuitable, this proposal is at a very early stage and is the subject of very substantial objections which have yet to be tested through a formal process. The planning application now submitted is premature and seeks to pre-empt the outcome of the draft Site Allocations Plan.

3. The site is an important open space, restricting urban sprawl and safeguarding an important gap as part of the wider Meanwood Valley. The site forms part of a wider network of green space which would be harmed by housing development, including through encroachment on the adjoining Meanwood Park Urban Green Corridor.

4. Meanwood Valley Urban Green Corridor is an important and highly valued environmental and leisure asset for the city. The proposed housing development would cause significant harm to the character and function of this important protected area of the city.

5. The Far Headingley, Weetwood and West Park Neighbourhood Design Statement highlights the importance of open space and the significant constraints on future development in the area. The site is also part of a designated Conservation Area. The proposals for housing would be inconsistent with local policies seeking to retain open space and local character.

6. There is no need for additional housing in the area and the scheme would place unacceptable pressure on local services, school places, local roads and the local environment.

7. The applicant has made it clear that the reason for promoting housing on this Green Belt site is to provide ‘enabling’ funding towards new development at Headingley Stadium. However, no clear financial appraisal has been made available to explain in detail why this funding is necessary to meet the requirements of the ECB and nor any certainty that the proceeds from this site, and also the Tingley Green Belt site, will meet the financial requirements of the proposed stadium.

8. The ‘enabling’ sites at Weetwood and Tingley are entirely unrelated to the Headingley stadium development and there is no legitimate case for the sites to be developed for housing purely to contribute to the Headingley stadium scheme.

9. National planning policy states that housing is an inappropriate use in the Green Belt. The applicant has not demonstrated the ‘very special circumstances’ necessary to justify planning permission for housing in the Green Belt. It is not clear that release of Green Belt is necessary to deliver the proposed new stadium at Headingley nor that any benefits from a new stadium are sufficient to outweigh harm to the Green Belt, the Conservation Area, and the important local environmental and leisure assets in the Meanwood Valley Urban Green Corridor.

10. Planning permission should not be granted for Green Belt changes across the city in advance of the proper completion of the Local Plan preparation process.