Thursday, June 20, 2024
HomecommentEditor's letter: Are housing plans a bridge too far?

Editor’s letter: Are housing plans a bridge too far?

By WLD editor John Baron

There’s nothing quite like a controversial planning application to spark debate – or get people angry.

The proposals for more than 60 properties at the former Airedale Mills site have been the focus of many an article, Facebook comment and conversation over coffees and pints in Rodley over the past couple of years.

The protracted issues over the new swing bridge – which took more than a year to open and are still the subject of a number of snagging issues – have done little to enamour the proposed development to villagers.

Thursday could see the long saga come closer to a conclusion on Thursday, with planning officers recommending elected councillors approve the detailed housing plans in principle and defer the final decision to the council’s chief planning officer to agree a raft of 23 conditions.

Given that the site is allocated for housing in the council’s Site Allocation Plan and already has outline permission, it’s unlikely councillors will have grounds to say a flat ‘no’ to the plans, but they have a duty to get the best possible outcome for Rodley’s existing residents and the adjoining nature reserve and cricket club.

I’ll be reporting from the planning meeting at Leeds Civic Hall on Thursday and it’ll be interesting to see what councillors decide.

That was the week that was

Our other most-read articles this week are a combination of planning applications, with some ‘good news’ stories thrown in.

The most-read article his week were the approval of long-running plans to turn the top two floors of the disused former Factory Outlet building into nine apartments in Pudsey town centre, despite concerns over parking. The proposals certainly sparked debate in Pudsey.

The Bankhouse at Pudsey re-opens after a major refurbishment. Licensee Richard Thewlis and manager Luke Morton raise a glass.

Second most-read article was a good news story – the reopening of the Bankhouse pub in Fulneck following a £370,000 refurbishment. The Bankhouse certainly looks stunning and – as someone who’s been a regular for years and who classes this as their favourite pub – I can’t wait to sample a pint after the pub was closed for the past three years.

Roadworks are always a bane of people’s lives – and our article about roadworks over February half-term at Stanningley Bypass and Armley Gyratory was certainly well read. You have been warned…

And it was good to type the words ‘Calverley Parkside is a school transformed‘ this week as the Ofsted heralded a major turnaround in the school’s fortunes with a glowing report.

If you have a story you think we should be featuring, please drop me a line on

Support independent people-powered journalism in West Leeds

The West Leeds Dispatch is the independent people-powered voice of West Leeds, run by a group of passionate local residents.

We have a community led board of local volunteers and a team of community reporters made up of people passionate about where they live. We are an independent grass roots organisation made in West Leeds itself – but local journalism costs money to produce and we need your support to ensure the long-term sustainability of our project. 

We’re inviting our loyal readers to become supporters of the West Leeds Dispatch, to help keep the lights on for our project and have a say in where we go next. Find out more about becoming a supporter here.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Recent Posts

Stay Connected