DCSIMG

Scholes homes plans deferred

Land to the west of Scholes where homes are planned. (S)

Land to the west of Scholes where homes are planned. (S)

 

Councillors on the North and East Leeds Plans Panel of Leeds City Council were expected to consider next week two controversial Scholes planning applications submitted by Leeds-based developers GMI Holdings.

In association with Barratt David Wilson Homes, the company is seeking outline approval to build up to 700 new homes to the east of Scholes and a further 45 on land near the village primary school.

However, the Wetherby News has learned that both decisions have been deferred, with the plans now going before the panel on Thursday, July 17.

The meeting, at 1.30pm in Leeds Civic Hall, will be open to the public.

If approved, the smaller scheme would require the demolition of an existing house in Morwick Grove to improve site access.

Another house would be demolished as part of the larger development, which if given the go ahead would almost double the size of Scholes.

It would include far more than new homes.

The developers also wish to build a health centre and doctors’ surgery, an ‘extra care’ residential home, a parade of shops and a children’s play area.

They would extend Scholes Elmet primary school or, if necessary, would build an entirely new school to ensure adequate school places for the children of families moving into the village.

Extensive landscaping would also be provided by the developers, who believe it would take ten years to complete the entire scheme.

More than 1,400 people have submitted comments on the larger development to the city council and a further 453 on the smaller scheme.

It is believed that most of these are objections.

Those speaking out against the plans, including members of the Save Our Scholes residents’ lobby group and the Scholes Independence Group, contend that building up to 745 new houses in Scholes would destroy the rural character of the village, which can trace its history back more than 800 years.

They fear Scholes would eventually become a residential suburb of Leeds, with hundreds of new cars adding to congestion on narrow roads.

Barwick residents believe many newcomers to Scholes would choose to drive through Barwick to get to and from the motorway network, adding to traffic volumes in their historic village.

Opposition to the developments from Elmet MP Alec Shelbrooke and from Councillors Ann Castle, John Procter and Matthew Robinson, who represent Barwick and Scholes on the city council, has encouraged the belief that the Plans Panel will at least reject the larger application, reiterating their earlier advice to the developers to find an alternative location, perhaps near Tadcaster or Thorp Arch.

However, villagers fear the developers would almost certainly lodge an appeal, giving rise to fears that a Government planning inspector may eventually approve the scheme.

 

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