Councillor 'lost for words' at planning inspector's decision

Wharfedale Observer: An aerial view of the former Clariant site An aerial view of the former Clariant site

Hundreds of new homes are set to be built on the edge of Horsforth after approval was given by a planning inspector.

But a councillor who has consistently opposed the two schemes is vowing to do everything possible to carry on fighting them.

Horsforth councillor Chris Townsley said he was “lost for words” at the inspector’s decision to allow the developments totalling 550 homes on the former Clariant and Riverside sites just off the ring road.

And he revealed he had already written to Leeds City Council asking if an appeal could be made to the High Court.

Coun Townsley was one of a number of people who spoke out against the developments at a planning enquiry.

“It is our job to put the voice of the people and I couldn’t find anyone who said they wanted it,” he said. “All you have to do is look at the number of people who objected to it – there were pages of them.”

Coun Townsley said the decision was “another nail in the coffin” and – along with other developments that were coming on stream in the area – would lead to around 2,000 extra homes.

“Where are the kids from these houses going to go to school? They are all full,” he said. “It is absolutely crazy.”

He said he was also extremely concerned about the impact on Horsforth roundabout.

“It’s a laugh to say that we have rush hour because we don’t – we actually have rush six hours – three in the evening and three in the morning. It is always clogged up.”

He said he was also deeply worried about traffic exiting from the site onto the busy ring road.

“I really do fear for people’s lives here,” he said.

“We have to keep fighting it because people don’t want these things.

“I have written to a planning officer asking if we can appeal to the High Court. Until there is nothing more we can do I will not accept defeat. In the meantime even if it is clutching at straws we will clutch at them.”

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