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Money from land sale ‘should come to Otley'
Councillors are calling for money from the sale of land linked to a green field housing development in Otley to be ploughed back into the town.
Leeds City Council is in line for a windfall from the sale of a plot it owns at Meagill Rise, which would form the access into Taylor Wimpey’s planned 90-plus home scheme at Rumplecroft.
Otley and Yeadon’s Liberal Democrat ward councillors say it is only right that proceeds from the deal be invested in the town, where it could help with everything from playground equipment to repairs of the Civic Centre.
Councillor Ryk Downes said: “We oppose housing on this green field site.
“But if the council is to make money from the sale of it, then we believe that money should be spent on things which will benefit the people of Otley, rather than disappear into a Leeds central pot."
Councillor Sandy Lay said: “Repairs to the Civic Centre, 20 mph speed limits, new play equipment or even a new bridge are all urgently needed.
“Local residents will have to suffer the traffic blight caused by this development.
“It is therefore only right that the money the council makes from this land sale is re-invested in the local community.”
The ward councillors slammed a decision by Leeds in September that told the developer it could continue drawing up detailed plans for the site.
They said they might ask the Secretary of State to call in the proposal once it is submitted.
There has been strong local opposition to the housing scheme, led by Residents Against Greenfield Erosion, since Taylor Wimpey first announced its plans back in June.
Campaigners claim the new housing would ruin the countryside.
They also say it would place an unsustainable strain on Otley’s already struggling roads.
And they say it will create road safety problems and create more school place shortages.
Otley Town Council leader Councillor John Eveleigh (Lab, Ashfield) said: “I would strongly argue for resources to be ring-fenced in Otley.
“That is certainly a principle I have argued for in relation to other potential land and property sales to help pump-prime the Civic Centre redevelopment.
“But it is a bit rich for three Lib Dem councillors to lecture anyone when their MP and their Government have starved Leeds City Council, and therefore residents of Otley, of necessary resources since the coalition came to power.”
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