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Clash of opinions on future of our local countryside
4:10pm Thursday 21st June 2012 in Our view
There’s no question that many thousands of new homes are needed to cope with the population needs of the future.
Achieving that basic need is, however, like opening up the biggest can of worms ever seen.
One of the thorniest issues is the development on what many see as green ‘lung’ space keeping towns, cities and villages apart and protecting communities.
A senior councillor is holding a summit meeting, urging all groups and organisations along the Wharfe Valley to join forces to protect their rural retreat.
For between Bradford and Leeds councils, under their Local Development Framework, thousands of new homes are planned in the Wharfe Valley area.
The meeting, called by Councillor Anne Hawkesworth, is aimed at finding a common purpose – putting on a united front – to retain the valley as “a highly landscaped rural retreat for all those who appreciate its beauty”.
Is that a somewhat selfish ‘not in my backyard view’ or protecting our irreplaceable countryside? Debate.
Two MPs, Pudsey’s Stuart Andrew and Leeds North West’s Greg Mulholland, are working to help set up a new forum to discuss future developments in Aireborough.
There have been positive discussions with Leeds Council about forming the Aireborough Neighbourhood Forum to cover areas which don’t have local councils, and give people a voice.
Both of these moves have to be welcomed and we would encourage all those who care about the future of these areas to go to the meetings and get involved.
That way, when comments and suggestions are made, those in authority at Leeds and Bradford and at regional and national government level know the true depth and strength of feeling of those who will have to live with the consequences of any development.