“We’re up for this battle and we have to win it” – that is the message from Farsley residents fighting to preserve Kirklees Knoll from development, writes Matthew Brannen.
Farsley Residents Action Group (FRAG) held a public meeting to rally supporters to prevent Thornhill Estates building 400 houses on Kirklees Knowl after it was announced a third public inquiry into the future of the site would be held in January.
Around 75 residents turned out to hear Councillor Andrew Carter (Cons, Farsley and Calverley) along with Mark Joslin of FRAG update them on the situation.
Cllr Carter informed residents that a planning application, originally submitted five years ago, for 400 homes on Kirklees Knoll between Farsley and Rodley would be revisited by the Secretary of State after a High Court battle.
“I’ve been on the council a long time,” said Cllr Carter. “I can tell you, this will be the final battle on Kirklees Knoll.” He added:
“After 20 years of stopping Mr Thornhill, this is a fight that’s worth the candle.”
Mr Joslin assured residents that FRAG was in a strong position to fight off attempts to develop the site.
“If we win on the grounds we intend to put forward it will be parked for good,” said Mr Joslin.
Thornhill Estates first lodged an appeal in 2012 after Leeds City Council failed to reach a decision on the plans within the allocated time frame.
Public inquiries were subsequently held into the plans before the secretary of state called in the application in 2013, as it exceeded the 150-home development limit.
The second inquiry, which dismissed the application, was challenged in the High Court by Thornhill Estates.
Farsley councillors and FRAG are encouraging residents to attend the upcoming public inquiry, which will be held at Pudsey Civic Hall on January 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th and 17th & 18th at Leeds Civic Hall.
When contacted for comment, Thornhill Estates said:
“As the matter is now before the Planning Inspectorate it would be inappropriate to make any public comment before their decision.”
The public meeting was held at Pudsey Priesthorpe School.