Ward Councillors’ Circular ‘Confusing’

The three Leeds ward councillors have sent a letter to every home in East Keswick headed ‘Housing Site Allocations – Consultation’ but some villagers have been bewildered by its content. Although sent out in July it urges people to look at a website www.leeds.gov.uk/siteallocations but on checking the site they found 16 of the 17 consultation events had already passed. Some villagers ae confused about what the circular – estimated to have cost several hundred pounds – means and have asked the Parish Council for help.

EKPC Vice Chairman Andrew Batty gave his interpretation of the present situation regarding Housing Site Allocations: ‘Leeds did a county wide survey of plots of land which might make suitable housing sites between now and 2030. Some were rejected immediately, often for the reason they were outside of village centres or would join village centres together. An example of those rejected straight away were the caravan sites in Bardsey for example.

Other sites were graded red, amber and green. Red being sites which Leeds were completely against, amber for those which might be suitable but have problems to overcome and green being for those which Leeds has no opposition to.

In our area, there is nothing in the village of East Keswick which gets a red, amber or green, meaning that no significant housing is anticipated within our village. The nearest ‘activity’ is as follows: the former Catholic Chapel site on Keswick Lane in Bardsey gets a green, which means that Leeds have no opposition to the chapel being replaced by a house or housing.

On our border with Collingham there is a field within Collingham Parish Council’s boundary which is designated amber. It is owned by Lady Elizabeth Hastings Trust and might be developed if certain problems are overcome. The site would be more attractive to develop if it were larger and Lady Elizabeth Hastings Trust use a property agency which has been lobbying owners of nearby land (much of it within East Keswick Parish Council boundaries though adjacent to the built up area of Collingham) to see if they can be persuaded to add their land to the mix.’

This was the basis for the leaflet which East Keswick Parish Council recently circulated to every home in its area and whose content is covered on this website.