Letter: Collingham - Planning issues facing our village

St Oswalds Parish Church at Collingham.
St Oswalds Parish Church at Collingham.

Residents will be appalled to learn that Collingham is threatened by an application for land adjacent to St Oswald’s church to be approved as a certified camping and caravan site.

This beggars belief since the land is a designated flood zone that regularly floods, as has already happened this winter.

In addition, major road safety issues are likely to result since site access will be directly onto the A58.

This will inevitably result in further congestion and delays on what is already an overstretched and dangerous road.

Unfortunately, since certified camping/caravan sites are not subject to normal planning laws the development can be allowed simply with the approval of the Camping And Caravan Club (CCC).

Leeds City Council and the Highways Department are not apparently required to support the development, it simply needs the go ahead from the CCC.

This is yet another example of current planning laws, or lack of, failing local communities and contrasts with the Highways Department’s recent and successful blocking of the same site’s use as a chicken farm.

In addition, a camping and caravan site in this location would be totally out of character with the existing village and detract from the open views towards St Oswald’s that are a major feature within the village.

It is hoped that all residents who wish to object to the proposed development will make their views known directly to the CCC at email: exemptions@campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk.

Whilst the prospect of a camp site in Collingham will be of great concern to many residents, a far more significant issue is the prospect of 150 new homes being crammed onto a site within the village.

The planning appeal for the development of 150 new properties at Leeds Road, Collingham, will be heard in Leeds Civic Hall on April 12-18, and thereafter until April 21, 2016.

Members of the public are entitled to attend the meeting, at which both Collingham Parish Council and the Collingham Residents Action Group (CRAG) will be speaking on behalf of the village against the proposed development.

One of the major objections to this proposed development was that it would be built on designated flood zones which form part of the village flood defences.

The experiences this winter of what can happen when flood defences are breached bear witness to the lunacy of allowing such developments, particularly in a time of great uncertainty as a result of long term changes to weather patterns. Quite simply, the existing models on which developers base their calculations cannot not be trusted.

Further, the development would greatly increase the problems already facing residents regarding oversubscribed school and health care facilities, flood risks, road safety and transport concerns.

David Mein