Protect village character call as plans put forward

Protestors are fighting to retain the character and identity of Scholes after an outline planning application for 700 new homes was submitted this week.

David Wilson Homes and GMI Developments wish to build up to 700 new homes, a new primary school and an array of community facilities on land to the east of Scholes.

But objector George Hall, also speaking for his wife, called for the plans to be rejected.

“It is our view that development in Scholes should be resisted in the short-term so that adequate infrastructure, including the wider highway network, is put in place.”

The developers are also proposing to build a further 45 new homes on land near Wood Lane to the west of Scholes and recently submitted an outline planning application.

Mr Hall claims that the developments, which if approved would almost double the size of the historic village, failed to meet criteria laid down by the Government.

He acknowledged that both sites, currently defined as protected area of search and not in the Green Belt, could be considered for development later but only after other land in the district, already allocated for new homes, had been developed.

Mr Hall said Scholes relies on inadequate sewers which already operate near to their capacity and, after heavy rain, it was not unusual for flooding to affect the cellars of homes in Main Street.

Additional traffic would make existing congestion in the village worse and the developers’ assertion that public transport in Scholes ‘is widely available’ was, he said, “vigorously disputed.”

The developers of the latest application for 700 homes claim that it will create and sustain almost 100 construction jobs and produce £7m in New Homes Bonus payments to Leeds City Council.

The commercial hub is proposed to include a new primary school, a number of small scale shops and services, a new GP surgery and possibly a small pharmacy.

And it would also provide 15 per cent on-site affordable housing provision.

A spokesman for the developers said: “This development will produce significant benefits for Scholes and prove to be a major boost to the local economy.”

Mr Hall will be among the speakers at a public meeting in Scholes this evening (March 20) called by the Save Our Scholes residents’ group.

Elmet MP Alec Shelbrooke is also expected to address the meeting.

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