Leeds campaigners hold ‘peaceful procession’ in opposition to 300 homes plan

Walk: Dozens of campaigners took part in the peaceful procession through the streets, organised by the West Ardsley Action Group.
Walk: Dozens of campaigners took part in the peaceful procession through the streets, organised by the West Ardsley Action Group.
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Dozens of campaigners fighting against plans to build nearly 300 homes in a Leeds village marched through the streets in a protest at the weekend.

Members of West Ardsley Action Group (WAAG) held the demonstration on Sunday in opposition to proposals for 299 homes on land off Westerton Road and Haigh Moor Road.

Organisers said about 100 people walked from the Hill Top Community Centre, in Batley Road, to East Ardsley Reservoir. The peaceful procession was managed by officers from West Yorkshire Police.

It comes after an outline planning application was lodged, seeking permission to build up to 299 homes on the land, which campaigners claim would erode green space in the village.

Nearly 1,000 objections against the plans have been submitted to Leeds City Council.

Peter Cowling, chairman of WAAG, said: “This development is simply not sustainable.

“Our schools, GP surgeries and roads are already creaking under a wave of successive housing developments during the last decade.

“The Haigh Wood and surrounding fields at the centre of this proposal is the living breathing, green heart of our community.

“To lose this treasured amenity will have repercussions for generations to come.”

A planning statement, prepared by Walker Morris on behalf of West Ardsley Development Consortium, said the proposed development would provide 299 homes on the site and “significant improvements to the landscape and management of the central wooded valley”.

It urged the council to grant the applicant conditional outline planning permission.

The statement said plans outlined within a design and access statement show that “a high-quality design and sense of place and space could be delivered”.

Campaign group members also held a litter-pick and clean up at the reservoir after the demonstration.