“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.
The land where the Kirklees estate sits was greenbelt land at one time and let’s be honest, the entire Kirklees estate is made up of ugly 80’s Barratt styled tacky homes which are the biggest eyesore that currently exists in Farsley – They need knocking down!
Fact is Farsley needs more houses, the infrastructure (Schools) have been improved to accommodate these needs and support arguments for development, however we currently have the problem where as there is now not enough children in Farsley to fill the Primary schools, this has resulted in them taking on children from out of the area, namely Bramley, this is not only going to destroy local business but also bring down the overall ‘class’ that Farsley has managed to keep a hold of.
Not building a significant number of homes in Farsley will mean less desirable areas such as Thornbury, Stanningley, Bramley, even Pudsey encroaching in and the boundaries and ‘Locality’ will be lost FOREVER!
Kirkless Knoll development needs to happen! AND FAST!
Ah, whoever knew? Farsley is the new Bramhope! Thanks for the laugh!
I hope I don’t ‘lower the class’ on here as a Bramley resident (notwithstanding my honours degree from Leeds University and background as a librarian) I promise I do know not to keep coal in the bath. Sorry our children aren’t good enough for you – surprises me – as a school governor in West Leeds for over 25 years I’ve always found Bramley children to be hardworking and conscientious, not unlike those in Farsley to be honest. Frankly exasperated by your snobbery (bet he hasn’t got a farthing to scratch his bottom with folks – always turns out to be the case)!
I was born in Farsley in 1947 as a young girl I remember Farsley as a small villiage which consisted of terraced houses both sides of the Town St. The Farfield council estate farms top and bottom of Farsley. Wesley Street Comrehensive School, Francis Street School Junior School and Farsley Nursery. Woodhouse Mill and local shops. We were surrounded by grazing fields so in 65yrs of what I can remember I think we have had enough development, I think the government should be looking at derelict buildings that could be regenerated into livable property.