Anger at proposals to build homes

PLANS to build hundreds of homes in west Leeds have been condemned by city planners.

The proposals to create nearly 400 new homes on Kirklees Knoll, in Farsley, are set to be determined by a public inquiry in November. Concerns have been raised about the site, which is currently rented for farming, and the impact it would have.

Members of Leeds City Council’s plans panel are being asked to make it clear they would have thrown out the plans if they had been left to make the decision. But developers Thornhill Estates have already launched an appeal over the council’s non-determination of the proposals. A Government planning inspector is set to examine the plans during the four-day public inquiry in November.

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The land has been the subject of heated debate since the council declassified it as green belt about 20 years ago, paving the way for potential development. Planners have received 386 objections against the plans from residents and councillors. Objectors claim that the highways infrastructure is “totally inadequate to accommodate an extra 400 dwellings” and there is “insufficient education provision in the area”.

They fear its impact will be compounded with the development of hundreds of homes at the former Clariant site, in nearby Horsforth. Planners say the impact of the development on the junction of Calverley Lane with the Ring Road is a major cause for concern.

The report added: “The size of the site, the possible need for a school and the availability of other housing development opportunities in the locality means that the site does not fulfil the exceptional criteria set out in the interim housing delivery policy.”