Campaigners who are fighting to save the ‘green lungs’ of Aireborough say they are dismayed that Leeds has not been ordered to cut its 70,000 housing target.

Aireborough Civic Society says a Government inspector wants to see 4,375 new homes built in Leeds each year starting immediately – despite the fact that Leeds City Council wants to start with a lower figure of 3,660 per year.

The inspector who held the examination of Leeds Core Strategy last October was due to return to the city this week to consult about changes to the plan.

In a submission to the inspector the society says: “We are dismayed that despite the evidence provided at the original examination the inspector has not recommended that Leeds City Council lowers its unrealistically high housing targets that are of a scale which has never been met in the past.”

The society is arguing that the targets set by the inspector and the council are unachievable.

Society chairman Clive Woods said: “If they do not build enough to achieve the target then they are likely to be able to get permission to build on extra Green Belt sites. Aireborough Civic Society considers this situation to be totally unacceptable.

“Our Green Belt areas are limited and are attractive ‘green lungs’ in our extremely busy area. We cannot afford to lose them to yet more housing.”