Revised plans for a new footpath in Kirkstall will be considered by Leeds City Council next week – two months after the proposals were sent back to the drawing board.
The plans – which have been have been submitted by Kirkstall councillor John Illingworth – include the laying out of a public footpath along the River Aire, adjoining St Ann’s Mills.
The initial proposals were deferred by the council following concerns by businesses in St Ann’s Mills industrial estate. They said that existing problems of vandalism and anti-social behaviour would increase if the footpath went through the estate.
The footpath will now divert on council-owned land next to the estate.
Cllr Illingworth’s proposals for the area also includes repairs to existing bridges and installation of a new footbridge, and to create a footpath to St Ann’s Mills on Council-owned land. This route would link up existing footpaths on the riverside next to the Leeds Rhinos Rugby Academy pitches and the Goitside walk along Abbey Mill Goit.
“This estate has suffered from a history of anti-social behaviour and criminal activity which includes break-ins, arson, vandalism, trespass and illicit activities.”
One business has said that some security concerns remain.
Cllr Illingworth hopes the measures will help lead to the creation of a larger Kirkstall Valley Park, improving public access to greenspace and the riverside.
The report adds:
“Following the previous Panel decision to defer determination discussions have taken place with the applicant to remove the northern spur of the footpath so that the path no longer diverts up through the industrial estate. As a
consequence this will allow time for separate negotiations with all relevant landowners to take place on if a footpath should run through the estate and if so what route it should take.”
The new footpath is recommended for approval at the planning meeting.