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Increase would alter character of the town
A new Facebook group has been set up to oppose new housing that could increase Otley’s size by a fifth.
The Otley Development Disgrace (ODD) campaign aims to co-ordinate opposition to the massive increase in new housing that is set to happen across Leeds over the next 15 years.
Under the Local Development Framework (LDF) the city has been earmarked for 74,000 new homes, with the Otley area – also including Pool-in-Wharfedale, Bramhope and Adel – in line to provide up to 2,200.
On its home page the ODD group sets out its fears about the impact of such expansion: “Leeds city planners are proposing a very substantial increase in the size of Otley.
“This is proposed without any meaningful consultations with residents or any clear commitments to make appropriate improvements to our infrastructure and transport links.”
The group is focused on the consequences for Otley, which is due to take the lion’s share of the new local development.
A spokesman said: “While the LDF is directing a large numbers of planned housing to specific sites, it does this without also presenting the probable numerical impact on individual communities.
“The numerical impact can be estimated quite simply by assuming that new housing will be built in accordance with the priorities published in the framework – this will not be the actual outturn but it is the intent of the planners, and can be expected to be a good indicator of what will happen. When the calculation is done it predicts that 1,177 of the new houses planned for Leeds Outer North West will be located in Otley.
“Clearly the corresponding figures for Pool, Bramhope and other areas are much smaller.
“The main concern is that the LDF plans the distribution of new housing without publishing the combined impact of the development sites on each community. In the particular case of Otley, the planned increase in the number of dwellings is 20 per cent – we believe such an increase should not be proposed without first conducting a careful appraisal of the overall consequences for the town.”
The group includes documents containing data The core strategy part of the LDF is now with an inspector who has three options
- To agree with what the city council has set out, in which case a second document listing suitable sites will come into play
- To agree with protesters and reduce the numbers outlined for future housing
- To agree with housebuilders, and increase the numbers.
Councillor Colin Campbell (Lib Dem, Otey & Yeadon) said he agreed with the thrust of ODD’s position. He said: “Unfortunately, because of a directive from the previous government, we are stuck with the requirement to identify sites for housing development.
“My ward colleagues and I have consistently opposed development on the green fields around Otley and will continue to do everything we can to prevent major house building altering the character of the town.”
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