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Clearly problems when appeals are seen as the norm
Local campaign groups must sometimes wonder why they bother.
Time after time residents trying to protect their area from development win their case only to lose eventually at a later appeal.
There does seem to be an inherent problem with the system which allows large companies to lodge appeal after appeal in the hope of final victory.
This week MP Greg Mulholland took up the cudgels on behalf of his constituents – telling Parliament it was scandalous that local people were still forced to fight to protect Yeadon Banks despite already winning their case.
The Leeds Group plc, which owns one third of the 15 acre site, is objecting to the designation of village green for Yeadon Banks.
And despite losing at appeal last year the company is now attempting to have its case heard at the Supreme Court.
The decision to continue the fight has come as a disappointment to many people – and it is an all too familiar pattern nationally. The local campaign group KEYBAG has fought for eight years to protect Yeadon Banks – but each time it wins the case the process begins again.
Other groups have spoken of being ground down by developers who simply refuse to give up the fight – with vast reserves of money helping them in their determination to win.
This week the Leeds Group plc stressed that it did not fit the mould of a powerful developer with unlimited wealth – and that, in fact, it was simply a small trading company whose only UK asset was the land at Yeadon. It also made the point that it had owned the land for more than 100 years and that the directors of the company had a duty to the group’s shareholders to preserve the economic benefits associated with it. But whatever sympathies may be felt with either side in this particular argument, the fact remains that there are clearly problems with a system in which repeated and expensive appeals up and down the country are seen as the norm.
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