A COMMUNITY group is crowdfunding to pay for legal advice to help protect Aireborough Green Belt from the threat of development.

Aireborough Neighbourhood Development Forum is making an appeal for donations as Leeds City Council runs a public consultation on proposed changes to its Site Allocations Plan.

The consultation seeks views on modifications to the plan put forward by two independent government-appointed inspectors in their initial consideration after public hearings. The plan looks at future housing, greenspace and development.

Writing on the forum website chairman Jennifer Kirkby said: “A number of Green Belt sites around Leeds have been removed from the plan including some Aireborough sites. However, this revised plan still includes four important Aireborough Green Belt sites which are due now for development before 2023.”

One of the sites is Birks Farm, Ings Lane. Ms Kirkby says building here would join up Guiseley and Menston and she also pointed out that the site was a flood plain for Mire Beck.

She said the second site, Wills Gill, was behind the medieval tofts and crofts which Historic England say should not have any encroaching urban development in a wide buffer, which means the site has no obvious means of access.

The third site, Hollins Hill near the top of Park Road, is a Special Landscape Area and listed as West Yorkshire Strategic Green Infrastructure, as well as part of a working farm.

The fourth site, Victoria Avenue Yeadon, is next to the Airport runway and above Tarnfield Park.

Ms Kirkby said: “The plan also includes Silverdale Allotments, for 32 houses, although this is a greenfield not a Green Belt site.

“Overall, Aireborough is now due to have 502 more houses built before 2023 – 425 on Green Belt sites and the rest on brownfield sites.”

The forum is now taking legal advice and seeking to raise funds for this through crowdfunding .

Ms Kirkby said: “We have decided to do this because of the complexity of the process, the confusion over the correct housing target and changes to planning regulations. If you would like to help fund this legal advice you can do this through our Local Giving Account here or email us on aireboroughnp@gmail.com and we can give you details for sending a cheque of a bank transfer.”

She also urged the public to take part in the council’s consultation, which runs until March 4, and to write to their local councillors and MP.