Homes plans to be debated

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Outline plans which could lead to more than 4,000 homes being built in the rural village of Scholes will be debated at a public meeting on Saturday.

To be held at the Manor House community centre in Belle Vue Road, Scholes, from 10am until noon, the meeting has been called by Barwick and Scholes Parish Council as part of an eight-week consultation into Leeds City Council’s site allocations plan.

Coun Ben Hogan, Chairman of Barwick and Scholes Parish Council, told the Wetherby News: “Everything is possible, though some of the developments could be 15 or 20 years away.

“We need to be absolutely sure that we keep a strategic gap between Scholes and Leeds and between Scholes and Barwick.

“We urgently need to get our Neighbourhood Development Plan finished and approved by the city council before the end of this year; it is going to be our major defence.”

Coun Hogan urged the lobby group Save Our Scholes and other residents to work with the parish council.

One proposed area, on land close to Rakehill Road, could provide capacity for 2,527 homes, while another near the village’s bowls, cricket, football and tennis clubs would have room for 843 homes.

Smaller sites could together provide land for another 200 homes in the village which currently has just 1,000 properties.

In Barwick, 160 homes could be built on land close to Long Lane and Richmondfield Lane in what the parish council describes as ‘a significant encroachment into the Green Belt.’

Another site off Aberford Road, with capacity for 139 homes, would also use Green Belt land.

Villagers in Barwick and Scholes have said they recognise the need for new homes but are concerned at the scale of the proposed developments and impact on services such as schools, health and transport and the loss of village identity.

In an eight page newsletter distributed to every home in Barwick and Scholes the parish council emphasises that just because potential sites have been identified by Leeds City Council it doesn’t necessarily mean they will be approved for development.

The city council’s target is to allow 5,000 new homes to be built in the Outer North East area, which includes Wetherby, Harewood and Boston Spa, as well as Barwick in Scholes.

Of these, just over 1,000 are already in the pipeline, leaving under 4,000 homes to be built across all the potential sites identified.

The number of new homes approved in and around Barwick and Scholes may prove less than 4,500.

Residents have until Monday, July 29 to send the city council their opinions on the proposals.

Comments, including the sender’s name and address, plus the site reference number, can be submitted by e-mail to: ldf@leeds.gov.uk or online at: www.leeds.gov.uk/siteallocations