Campaigners gear up to fight plans for hundreds of homes

The Friends have been fighting plans for six years.
The Friends have been fighting plans for six years.

Campaigners are gearing up again to fight plans to build hundreds of homes on what they say is the last area of greenbelt in the WF1 postcode.

The Friends of Newton Hill, who successfully fought off developers wanting to build 82 homes off Second Avenue in 2017, have now launched a petition to halt plans for 500 homes on the green space sandwiched between Leeds Road and Ouchthorpe Lane. The land is being put forward as part of an early-engagement consultation for the new Local Plan 2036.

The plan will be a blueprint for future development.

Taylor Wimpey and Miller Homes have put forward a statement in support, claiming it would help meeting the housing needs of the district in future.

In recent years the Friends of Newton Hill have successfully battled other proposals on the land, including a 68-home plan which was eventually rejected in 2016.

A statement issued by the Friends this week reads: “There is no justification for using the greenbelt and exceptional circumstances cannot be demonstrated. Millers and Taylor Wimpey aim to make huge profits at our expense leaving behind a legacy of problems.”

The group recently set up a petition and attracted hundreds of names, while support is being offered by their ward councillors and MP Andrea Jenkyns who said: “The council should listen to residents, prioritising brownfield rather than building on greenbelt.

“This planning application would weigh down local services and infrastructures, wiping off the last section of greenbelt left in the WF1 postcode.

“I support this grassroots campaign against the proposal and have asked the council to protect our greenbelt.”

Both Taylor Wimpey and Miller Homes said the development would bring both economic and community benefits, including employment and contributions worth £2.5 million to the community infrastructure.

To sign the petition go to change.org and search for ‘Save Ouchthorpe Lane’.