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Anger over ‘appalling’ decision on new homes
Councillors have criticised an “appalling” decision to allow developers to pursue a 90-plus new-homes scheme for green fields at Otley.
Taylor Wimpey was told it could proceed with drawing up a detailed plan for the land at Rumplecroft following a pre-application presentation to Plans Panel West last Thursday.
There has been widespread local opposition co-ordinated by Residents Against Greenfield Erosion, who say the development would ruin the countryside and cause unsustainable traffic, road safety, and school places problems.
The site, off the Weston estate, has been earmarked for housing for many years which means Leeds City Council has to consider any residential proposals it receives.
But Otley and Yeadon's three Liberal Democrat ward councillors are vowing to fight the amended, and as yet unpublicised, plans from Taylor Wimpey which would involve two access roads being created through residential streets – despite a ruling by a previous planning inspector.
Councillor Ryk Downes said: “The most worrying aspect of the proposal is the decision to overturn the council's Unitary Development Plan and allow a new road to be built through the site via the residential St David's estate.
“The Government inspector who agreed the UDP said quite clearly this should not happen. The panel has decided to ride roughshod over the opinions of local people and the Government inspector in its drive to build houses in Otley.”
Councillor Sandy Lay said: “The site is steep and badly drained and everyone agrees that the design of the development is appalling.
“In spite of that, they have given the green light to this development.”
Councillor Colin Campbell, meanwhile, said any housing on such a prominent site would represent “a blot on the open countryside of the Wharfe Valley”. He said: “Though there is no definitive plan at the moment, when one arrives we may ask the Secretary of State to call it in. This will allow him to scrutinise the council's decision to overrule one of his inspectors.”
Under the plans connecting access roads to the new housing would be made at Meagill Rise and St David's Road.
Taylor Wimpey unveiled outline plans to create about 100 family homes at Rumplecroft in June.