Updated 12 June

East Keswick Parish Council has formally objected to a planning application by the Village Hall to turn the grassed area behind the building into car parking. In their objection, councillors said the current grassed area provides a natural and scenic space which should continue to be enjoyed by residents and visitors to the Village Hall. 'The use of tarmac, or other artificial surface material is not supported and is considered detrimental to the 'green' aspect currently provided.' Using the green space to create parking 'will spoil the setting of the Village Hall and reduce its attractiveness for use as a venue for local events'. The Parish Council also cites concerns about local flooding and increasing vehicle movements on School Lane.

You can view the application on the Leeds City Council Planning Portal if you CLICK HERE. Over seventy objections have been posted against the proposal although six others - all Village Hall Trustees - have posted comments supporting the car parking plans.

The application is for a second car parking area on land behind the Hall and below the terrace. However, Peter Guildford, the Chairman of the Village Hall said the architect made a mistake in the planning application when he described the intended surface as tarmac. This was now being corrected, he said. The intention, he said, was that the existing grass area would remain grass, or possibly artificial grass, to provide space to park twenty one vehicles for certain large events.

Peter said the project was discussed and agreed at the Village Hall AGM and that the application was part of a larger project to re-landscape the whole of the rear area and add some fixed furniture. He added that they were currently inviting landscaping and garden design companies to put forward ideas and tender for the work. His intention was to provide 'a modern, environmentally friendly and aesthetically pleasing landscaping solution to the rear of the Village Hall'. 

You can view the application here. Any comments or objections have to be made by June 22nd. If approved, the plan would more than double the car parking capacity at the hall when required. The existing car park has twenty spaces.

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