Appeal launched over 700 Scholes homes plan

An artist's impression of the original plan for homes on land at East Scholes. (S)
An artist's impression of the original plan for homes on land at East Scholes. (S)

A 700-home proposal that attracted more than 2,500 objections has been appealed after permission was refused.

The development, which was planned for land at East Scholes, was rejected by Leeds City Council (LCC) in September 2014 as too substantial an expansion of the village.

However, after making some changes, including reducing the size of the scheme to 650 houses with green areas and a promise of investment to expand the local primary school, this week developers GMI Developments and David Wilson Homes have appealed the council’s decision.

A spokesman said: “Since the application was first submitted we have introduced positive changes to our proposals in response to feedback from the local authority and local residents.

“There is an urgent need for new houses in Leeds. We believe our scheme is essential to help meet this clear demand and that is why we have now lodged a planning appeal.

“If the appeal is successful, LCC will not have to release as much green belt land for housing in its emerging Site Allocations Document which is due out for public consultation later this year.”

A smaller site in Scholes was also refused permission, but the developer is offering this land to LCC to extend the local school.

This, plus an overall investment of £77m, and the creation of over 200 new jobs highlights the importance of the development, according to the spokesman.

However, the announcement of an appeal drew much criticism from the village community in Scholes.

Barwick and Scholes parish council chair Ben Hogan said: “To nearly double the size of this village and to put all the traffic onto us - our answer will still be the same.

“At the end of the day it is down to the inspector, but the possibility of them coming forward with the same virtual plan is absolutely ridiculous, but once we get it we will fight it to the best of our ability.”

These concerns were echoed by Scholes resident and planning expert George Hall, who said: “We will be facing lawyers employed by the appellant, but we will be fighting it. There is no doubt in my mind that the community will rise and speak with a very clear voice.”