Calls for investigation into Leeds council ‘sales of green spaces’

2 December 2019

A senior Leeds politician is calling for an investigation into why Leeds City Council is “selling green space” despite having declared a climate emergency earlier this year, writes Local Democracy Reporter Richard Beecham.

Coun Colin Campbell (Lib Dem) has asked for the authority’s environment scrutiny committee to look into the “sale” of small areas of green space in the city to developers, following a planning application which he claimed plans to run an access drive across an area of public green space.

Coun Campbell’s concerns follow Leeds City Council’s declaration of a climate emergency earlier this year, and the authority’s subsequent pledge to become carbon neutral over the coming decade.

In requesting scrutiny of the issue, Coun Campbell wrote:

“It may seem small scale but we have recently have had a  planning application to run an access drive across a section of public open space and incorporate this into a garden.

“I was wondering if either of your committees might like to have a conversation about the selling of green space given the declared climate emergency.”

A section marked “Clarification of the enquiry” added:

“Coun Campbell has confirmed he would like to consider the processes linked to the sale by the Council of all green spaces – including those smaller strips of ground and verges, as well as larger pieces of land that may form part of major projects.”

At a full Leeds City Council meeting in March this year, members voted to declare a climate emergency in Leeds, and committed to make Leeds carbon neutral by 2030.

The scrutiny board will meet to decide whether to grant Coun Campbell’s request on Tuesday, December 3.

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