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Group formed to fight development proposals
Campaigners who are fighting to protect Rawdon Billing from development have formed their own action group.
The newly-launched Rawdon Billing Action Group will help fight to protect the beauty spot, which has been identified as a potential site for hundreds of homes.
Campaigners decided to form the group after the Billing was listed in Leeds City Council’s Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) as a possible site for development.
The owners of the green belt site, The Rawdon Trust, provoked local anger when they put the 98 hectares of land forward for inclusion in the SHLAA.
Members of the new action group are urging local people to join them in their campaign.
Spokesman Graham Branston said any help from the local community would be welcomed. He stressed the importance of community involve-ment to send out a strong message to local planners about the importance of the Billing.
The land was gifted to the people of Rawdon for the purposes of health and recreation in 1936.
The new group has a committee of eight, with members coming from a range of backgrounds, including law, accoun-tancy and surveying.
The group – RBAG – is planning to harness the strong feeling locally and to make its presence felt around the village. It will have a stand at Rawdon Fun Day on June 9 to discuss the issue with local people and to raise funds.
Nearly 200 people turned up to a meeting which was held in March to look at forming an action group to protect the Billing.
Leeds North West MP Greg Mulholland and Pudsey MP Stuart Andrew were among those who attended the meeting, organised by the Wharfedale and Aireborough Review Development (WARD) group.
Mr Mulholland branded any plans to build on the land as “preposterous”.
Mr Andrew said changes in planning and the introduction of the new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) could help people to fight developments.