CAMPAIGNERS fighting for sustainable development in Otley have handed over a 2,227 signature petition to Leeds.

Members of ODD presented the document to Leeds City Council's deputy leader and executive member for neighbourhoods and planning, Councillor Peter Gruen, on Monday. [AUG 4]

The group is concerned that the scale of proposed future housing for Otley, which could see up to 1,177 new homes built over the next 15 years, could overwhelm local services and roads.

It also fears the loss of some of the town's iconic green fields - concerns shared by Otley Town Council leader Councillor John Eveleigh (Lab, Ashfield) and Councillor Colin Campbell (Lib Dem, Otley & Yeadon), who joined ODD for the petition handover.

A campaign spokesman said: "The petition was accompanied by a six page open letter to Coun Gruen which details the concerns about the development plans and poses a series of questions.

"The main thrust is that the current plans are simply unsustainable - the proposed population increase is too great for Otley’s infrastructure (including schools, doctors and dentists) and most of the new residents will need to commute into Leeds and Bradford to work, with inevitable consequences for already overstretched transport routes.

"The new houses are unlikely to be affordable for many residents, while everyone will experience the increased congestion.

"The letter explains that the ODD Campaign is not against development; indeed its aim is development for Otley that is both appropriate and sustainable.

"It proposes reducing the number of houses to be built and focusing initially on developing Otley’s many brownfield sites to create an imaginative and sustainable mix of appropriate housing and employment."

ODD hopes its lobbying during the consultation phase for the Local Development Framework's Sites Allocation Plan will persuade Leeds to revise its proposals for Otley, and help pay for a full impact assessment survey.

More details can be found on its website at .