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Legal battle launched over green belt

Campaigners fighting to save greenbelt in Aireborough have launched a legal battle by lodging a claim for a judicial review with the High Court in Leeds.

They are hoping the move will allow them to mount a legal challenge against Leeds City Council’s Site Allocations Plan which they say will threaten green space on Ings Lane, Wills Gill, Hollins Hill, Guiseley, and Victoria Avenue, Yeadon. The action by Aireborough Neighbourhood Development Forum has been made possible by a crowdfunding appeal which has so far raised more than £22,000. Now a further £18,000 is needed to help fund the judicial review. A copy of the group’s case will go to Leeds City Council, and to the Secretary of State for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick. If a hearing in the High Court is granted it will be expected to take place in the autumn.

Forum Chairwoman Jennifer Kirby said: “We could not have raised this money without the dedicated help of around 40 helpers, who have been out in all weathers delivering leaflets all over the area and telling people what is going on. We would like to thank all Forum members and helpers who have done such wonderful work so far, and who will be helping us over the coming months. We would also like to thank the many, many residents who have been incredibly generous with their donations, and for telling us how they feel about this situation – it is hugely encouraging to know people think we are doing the ‘right’ thing for them.”

She added: “As we have not yet raised the full amount for the case, at least £40,000, and still have £18,000 to find for the ongoing work and hearing – if we are granted it – we need to carry on fundraising. The worst thing would be to run out of money and not to be able to continue the case. So, we are carrying on with the £10 campaign.”

Among those already offering support and donations are Aireborough Civic Society, Horsforth Civic Society and Yorkshire Greenspace Alliance.

After the crowdfunding appeal was launched a Leeds City Council spokesperson said: “We recognise that people care deeply about their local area and understand there will always be concerns about any new proposals. However, the government-appointed independent inspectors concluded that the Site Allocations Plan is sound, legally compliant and provides an appropriate basis for planning the city. Every area of Leeds is included in sharing the housing requirement and Aireborough is identified for just three per cent of the total needed. All sites within the plan are subject to the same thorough mitigation measures, including for flood alleviation. Inspectors also noted that site selection requirements were justified and had considered appropriate mitigations, including flood alleviation. They confirmed they approved of the approach to Green Belt sites, which included impact assessments.”

The council says the Site Allocations Plan has been subject to a lengthy consultation, engagement and examination process in front of independently appointed inspectors. The inspectors’ report, published on June 7, found the SAP to be sound and said it satisfied the legal requirements.

 

Article originally appeared on Ikley Gazette

The Institute cannot confirm the accuracy of this story or confirm that it presents a balanced view. If you feel this is inaccurate, we would welcome your perspective and evidence that this is the case.

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