Extract from a letter from the Vicars of five local churches, June 2013
Revd Stephen Smith, Vicar, All Hallows Church | Revd Charity Hamilton, Minister for Hyde Park, Lower Wortley and Whingate Methodist Churches | Revd Joanna Pearson, Priest in Charge, Woodhouse and Wrangthorn | Revd Tom Lusty, Priest in Charge, St Chads Church | Revd Tim Boocock, Superintendent Minister, Headingley Methodist Church
“The playing field is one of few green spaces in South Headingley that could be used by local schools and others in the community for physical education and other recreational activities. To see this excellent asset ripped up and built upon would be a travesty.
We understand that the sports hall is still serviceable and could also be used by the local community in an inner city environment crying out for health and fitness activities – vitally important means of building and developing community spirit. This proposal flies in the face of the legacy of the London Olympic games 2012 and the idea of encouraging more participation in sport and healthy activity.
The proposal is to build more houses and yet another convenience store on the site, neither of which people in the area wish to see.”
Extracts from a letter from North Hyde Park Neighbourhood Association, April 2013
“Our association objects to the above application for the following reasons:
1. Over development. To apply to have 24 three bedroom houses in 6 blocks in this small parcel of land smacks of cramming in as many in as possible. The surrounding area is already very heavily developed, and with the old Leeds Girls High School site having permission for more than 90residential properties, further development would have a disastrous affect on an area already bursting at the seams.
2. Extra traffic on Victoria Road. If anyone on the planning panel has driven down Victoria Road, they will know it has to be negotiated with care, due to the parked cars and traffic calming measures ‐ put there for a reason. The road would not be able to cope with the large increase of traffic this application would create, not only from the houses but the retail store.
3. No need for a retail store. The shops at Hyde Park are already finding it very difficult to keep going. To allow a large retail store to open in the same area would be unfair and unnecessary. With permission having just been granted for another retail store to open on Woodhouse Street, permission for this one would be like a red rag to a bull. We need your help to support the shops which are already here.
4. Sports areas needed for local schools. Another opportunity to provide games areas for the local schools will not come again. This one should be grabbed with both hands.”
Extract from a letter from the Heads of the Open XS Cluster of Schools, September 2012
“The five primary schools in our area need an extra 40,846 square metres to comply with the area required by the School Premises Regulations. Three of the primary schools – Brudenell, Quarry Mount and Rosebank Primary Schools are without any playing field space at all.
In this year of the Olympics and Paralympics, with the huge emphasis on the importance of sports for all and especially in our schools, it seems unbelievable that the sports hall, swimming pool and playing fields are to be sold off to a developer in order to build more houses and a convenience store.
With childhood obesity being such a problem in our cluster area, it would be of huge benefit to our schools if we could use these facilities for our children, to promote healthy living and to give them a safe place to use in both lesson and leisure time.”
Extracts from a letter from Republica Interntionale FC, October 2012
“Primarily, we feel that the new proposals will not adequately address the needs of the
community in the surrounding area. There are several convenience stores already servicing the
immediate area, including a Sainsbury’s and Co-Operative store. Further, there are two large
Morrison’s stores, at Kirkstall and in the City centre also servicing the area, alongside a number
of smaller and some independent shops. It is therefore abundantly obvious that the
community requires the site to provide other facilities to the Hyde Park area and in particular,
sports facilities, to an otherwise impoverished community group. There is little or no support
from the community for the proposed development, and the loss of green space and sports
facilities would be detrimental to the health of the local population and young people in the
area: proper sports provision is essential to encourage and promote healthier lifestyles.”
“In addition to the above, we oppose the planning application as potential stakeholders in the
development of the Leeds Girl’s High School site. We are a large and well established football
team with over 100 members. We have both a men’s and women’s section, which play in
various leagues around the city. A large contingency of our membership are from the North
Leeds area, and we are currently struggling to find suitable and affordable places to train
during the winter months. There are no suitable community facilities available, only those
which are owned by Leeds University or Leeds Metropolitan University. Republica F.C. intends
to collaborate with any community group who undertake to develop the site as sports
facilities, accompanied with a guarantee to use such facilities in the future.”
Extracts from a letter from Councillor Illingworth, August 2012
“There is an extremely deprived “doughnut” around Leeds city centre, which includes New Wortley, Burley, South Headingley, Hyde Park and Woodhouse, parts of Chapel Allerton, Harehills, Burmantofts & Richmond Hill, City & Hunslet, Beeston & Holbeck. The PPG17 assessment has also been aggregated in a way that masks the true extent of inner city deprivation. There are many other deprived areas in Leeds, but nowhere else matches this concentration of poverty combined with a dense population, traffic saturation and a serious deficiency of recreational open space.
The Chestnut Avenue planning application 12/02491/OT is important because it is a test case for important issues that are likely to recur throughout these most deprived and densely populated areas of Leeds. Children from these areas are less likely to play sport, less likely to learn to swim, but more likely to become obese and suffer from type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in later life. These are particular problems for families with a South Asian background. Their disadvantage is our
I cannot anticipate the decisions of the Health Scrutiny Board. They will make up their own minds on the evidence, and the Scrutiny Inquiry has yet to take place. But anybody who studies the deprivation in inner Leeds is likely to conclude that the “doughnut” I have described requires some form of special treatment in planning terms, one that will among other things address the very serious Public Health problems that characterise these inner city areas. In the case of the Chestnut Avenue sports hall, swimming pool and playing pitch, I would argue that the local needs are so severe that the Council should compulsory purchase the entire site. If that is the outcome, then it is important that Planning Officers do not by their conduct create artificially inflated land values that our city would be unable to afford.”