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Latest West Leeds Dispatch print edition hits the streets


Our latest 16-page printed newspaper has hit the streets of West Leeds this week.

Featuring all the latest news and views from your community, the paper has been written largely by our team of volunteer community reporters.

It features the latest on food banks in Armley, Town Street shop owners fighting back against negative press, our latest community heroes winner, Bramley Baths, scarecrow festivals in Bramley and Pudsey, plus a roundup of local shows and summer activities – and lots more.

You can pick up your copy here:


  • Armley Helping Hands/Strawberry Lane Community Centre
  • New Wortley Community Centre
  • Armley Community Hub
  • Armley Leisure Centre
  • Bundles/Armley Action Team, Gelder Road
  • West Leeds Activity Centre
  • Irish Health and Homes
  • BARCA-Leeds
  • St Vincent’s
  • Armley Pre-loved shop


  • Bramley Baths
  • Broadlea Community Centre
  • The Villagers
  • Bramley Community Centre
  • Bramley Lawn Social Centre
  • Bramley parkrun
  • Bramley Community Hub
  • Full Circle undertakers, Midgeley’s Fisheries, Trinity Methoidists, PDSA shop, Old Unicorn
  • Bramley Band WMC
  • The Daisy pub
  • Copper Tree Pub
  • Black Lion


  • Sheesh Mahal
  • Cardigan Arms
  • Seagulls Paint


  • Calverley Post Office
  • Calverley Library


  • Farnley Community Centre


  • Truman Books
  • Farsley Community Hub
  • Sunny Bank Mills


  • Kirkstall Leisure Centre
  • West End
  • Bridge Inn
  • New George
  • Kirkstall Fisheries
  • Mogs Cafe
  • Abbey Barbers
  • Kirkstall Leisure Centre
  • Kirkstall Health Centre
  • All being well tomorrow i’m doing:
  • Kirkstall Brewery Tap
  • TCV Hollybush
  • KVDT, St Stephen’s Church Hall
  • Butler’s, Kirkstall Forge


  • Pudsey Community Hub/Library
  • Pudsey Wellbeing Centre
  • Pudsey House
  • Pudsey Leisure Centre
  • Pudsey Community Project, Fartown
  • Swinnow Community Centre


The Owl


  • Lower Wortley Community Centre
  • New Wortley Community Centre

If you would like to become a community reporter and contribute to both our daily website and quarterly newspaper, check out our next free training course, to be held in Farsley next month.

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Trouble at Sunny Bank Mills as events company sign permanent lease in Farsley

Trouble at Mill Team with John and William Gaunt of Sunny Bank Mills, (l-r) John Gaunt, Dick Bonham, Choque Hosein , Howard Bradley and William Gaunt.

Trouble At Mill, the acclaimed Leeds-based events company, now has a permanent home on a 10-year lease at the Sunny Bank Mills complex in Farsley and will host year-round shows at the 500-capacity Old Woollen venue.

The company has been based at Sunny Bank since setting up in 2021 – but has never had a long-term lease, until now.

Dick Bonham, one of the directors of Trouble At Mill, said: “This is tremendous news for us. Having worked with Sunny Bank Mills to develop the offer at the Old Woollen, we’re delighted to make this a permanent move. The next year is our biggest and best yet, with double the amount of shows and some familiar household names visiting Farsley.”

The Old Woollen, situated in the heart of the flourishing Sunny Bank Mills complex, boasts an ambitious and eclectic mix of music, comedy, theatre and the spoken word. The derelict mill building has been sympathetically restored to become one of the most exciting entertainment venues in the Leeds region.

Mr Bonham explained: “The Old Woollen is incredibly flexible and dynamic space that has already seen us host famous names like John Lydon’s Public Image Limited, Shaun Ryder, Mark Radcliffe, Gary Delaney, The Great British Sewing Bee’s Esme Young and legendary TV historian Lucy Worsley.

“The setting at the Old Woollen is ideal for providing all our acts and audiences with a warm welcome. As well as the main room, we are leasing the beautiful Old Engine Room, which gives us a stylish base to work from and doubles as one of the best Green Rooms in the business.

“Our story started at the Mill nearly a decade ago in 2014 with the Trouble At mill pop-up nights, which took place in another Sunny Bank building – now demolished! All we had then were a few trestle tables, some old chairs from a church, blankets to keep out the cold, a pop-up bar and some hearty homemade tucker. It’s incredible to see how far things have some since then.

“We are tremendously grateful to William and John Gaunt, the owners of Sunny Banks Mills. We share exactly the same vision for the Old Woollen and it makes perfect sense to be based at the mills, which is such a trailblazer for the arts in West Yorkshire. This is a continuation of a beautiful and productive partnership.”

William Gaunt was delighted to welcome Trouble At Mill to Sunny Bank on a permanent basis. He added: “This move will strengthen our relationship and ensure that the Old Woollen has one of the most exciting and eclectic arts programmes in the Leeds area. 

“Bringing the Old Woollen back to life was a true labour of love. The building had been derelict for 50 years and had fallen into an advanced state of dilapidation. Now it is a thriving cultural and community hub and maintains the mills’ proud connection with the arts, as both Yorkshire Television’s Emmerdale and Heartbeat were filmed here, and we have a thriving art gallery on site, too.”

Dick Bonham added: “We know the Old Woollen has an incredible vibe, with some brilliant acts. People always say to us they can’t believe things like this are happening in a place called Farsley – well, this is only the beginning and we are delighted to share some of the great events we have in store – with many more to come.”

Highlights of the Old Woollen’s upcoming programme include music from The Bootleg Beatles (Sat 28 Oct), performing a rare standing show, The Wonder Stuff (Wed 15 Nov), The Wedding Present (Sun 3 Dec), classical star Jess Gillam (Tues 12 Dec) and The Loveless (Sat 16 Dec), featuring Marc Almond and Neal X.

There’s a fantastic line up of comedy and theatre, including Nunkie’s candle-lit ghost stories for Halloween, A Warning To The Curious (Thurs 26 Oct), The Thinking Drinkers Pub Quiz (Sat 18 Nov), as seen on C4’s Sunday Brunch and ITV’s This Morning, plus top comedians such as Pheonix Nights’ Clinton Baptiste (wed 29 Nov) andEleanor Conway with her hilarious stand-up show, the award-nominated Talk Dirty To Me (Thurs 30 Nov).

The team are also launching the second edition of Farsley Literature Festival in partnership with local indie shop Truman Books. Highlights include events with Adrian Edmondson (Wed 18 Oct), Paterson Joseph (Tues 31 Oct), Rachel Reeves MP (Sun 12 Nov), Dr Amir Khan  (Tues 14 Nov), Professor Alice Roberts (Thurs 16 Nov) and The Sky at Night’s  Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock (Sun 19 Nov).

  • The Old Woollen was one of the first mill buildings at Sunny Bank, dating back to 1830. It was built by a group of men who included John and William Gaunt’s ancestor John Gaunt. It was originally used for a process called “scribbling” and “fulling”. Scribbling was the process of combing the wool fibres in order to straighten them. Fulling was the process of washing and shrinking the cloth after it had been woven. This made the cloth thicker and stronger. Interestingly, the building – until recently – had no toilets. That’s because, before the advent of modern chemicals, urine was collected and used to clean the wool in the “fulling” process. 

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Young people invited to create street art for Armley 

The mural will be painted here on Gelder Road in Armley.

By Fran Graham

Armley young people aged 11-17 years are being invited to help transform a bare brick wall in central Armley alongside local professional artists.

The Gelder Rose project recently received funding from Leeds Inspired to create a mural on Gelder Road, at the back of Town Street, which will be inspired by what matters to local young people.

Artists from We Belong Here are asking young people to make and share their personal manifestos, expressing what’s important to them – in their lives, in the world, in Armley. Young people can work alongside professional mural and graffiti artists to create their own manifesto, which will inspire the mural on Gelder Road. They can also join the artists to paint the final design onto the wall over two weekends in October. 

Anyone aged 11-17 years can get involved by joining a workshop (or as many workshops as they want to attend). Anyone unable to attend can submit their manifesto online to in any form they would like (text, image, video). 

Drop in to a workshop, sign up online to paint the wall, and submit your manifesto online.

The free workshops are taking place on: 

  • 28 September 4-6pm – Armley Leisure Centre – Manifesto + Spray Paint
  • 30 September – 12-4pm – Christ Church, Upper Armley – Manifesto + Muralling
  • 1 October – 12-4pm – Assembly House – Manifesto + Muralling

Save the date for two weekends of mural painting: 

  • Sat 7 / Sun 8 October – 10am-4pm – Gelder Road
  • Sat 14 / Sun 15 October – 10am-4pm – Gelder Road 

Armley Action Team, We Belong Here and Assembly House are working together to produce The Gelder Rose and would love to hear from as many young people as possible. 

The title of the project, The Gelder Rose, is inspired by Gelder Road in Armley where the artwork will be based, and a Guelder Rose – which is a Eurasian shrub that represents re-growth, peace and strength and is also the national symbol of the Ukraine.

For more information follow @thegelderrose on Instagram or Armley Action Team on facebook, x and Instagram. Email

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Board members sought at Armley visual arts project

Venue: Armley Community Hub

The founders of an Armley-based visual arts project is appealing for new non-executive directors to help develop their organisation.

The Highrise Project is a visual arts CIC currently working from a space in Armley Community Hub where they provide regular workshops and mentoring, alongside aw eekly drop-in art space.

Run and founded by artists Louise Atkinson and Victoria Kortekaas, the non-executive directors will play a crucial role in shaping the project’s strategic direction, ensuring effective governance, and contributing your knowledge and experience to support our mission of promoting arts and culture within our community.

Louise said: “We are looking for new non-executive directors, to join us from this autumn for a period of two years. The role is voluntary, like being a trustee in a charity, but because we’re a CIC there is no conflict around directors also doing paid work for the organisation. You don’t need any previous experience in this kind of role. 

“We are seeking dedicated and passionate individuals to serve as board members for our small but ambitious organisation.”

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Council ‘delighted’ as Pudsey shop hit by two-month closure order

Shut: Pudsey Local. Photo: Google

By David Spereall, local democracy reporter

A Pudsey shop has been closed by the authorities for two months.

Leeds City Council has confirmed it has secured a two-month closure order against Pudsey Local, Market Place, Pudsey, following a hearing at Kirklees Magistrates’ Court last Thursday.

The authority had accused the store of causing anti-social behaviour, but has not confirmed what the exact basis of the case was.

But in a statement issued on Monday, the council’s deputy leader, Debra Coupar said: “Anti-social behaviour is extremely serious and something none of our residents should have to put up with, so we are delighted that the court issued a two-month closure order against the Pudsey Local.

“Working in partnership with West Yorkshire Police, we will continue to monitor the situation and address the concerns of residents, businesses and shoppers relating to these premises.

“If required, we have the option to apply for a renewed closure order for a further three months.”

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Farnley: Man jailed for knife attacks on horses

Jailed: Luke Ward.

A man who stabbed, slashed and strangled horses in a field in Farnley has been jailed for 45 months. 

Luke Ward, aged 37, of Upper Woodview Place, Beeston, attacked the animals at a farm off Hall Lane, Farnley, in July last year. 

One horse was discovered with a shoelace tied tightly around its neck in what appeared to be an attempt to strangle it and three other horses were also found to have been injured, including one with a deep cut and a long slash to the side of the neck and another with a three to four-inch laceration to its face. 

A knife with an eight-inch blade was found at the scene and forensic analysis found Ward’s DNA on it. 

When Ward, who had lived opposite the farm at the time of the incident, was interviewed about the offences, he denied being involved. 

Farnley horses attacked
A poster appealing for information into the attack on Hall Lane last year.

He was subsequently charged with four offences of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal. 

He admitted the offences at an earlier hearing at Leeds Crown Court and yesterday was sentenced to 45 months in prison. 

PC Rachel Harrison, of Leeds West Patrol Team 3, who investigated the offences, said: “Ward targeted these defenceless animals and caused serious injuries to them which left them in significant pain and distress.  

“He has not explained his actions and we can only assume that he derived some sense of satisfaction from inflicting these injuries on them.  

“As well as the pain and distress caused to the horses, these incidents also caused upset to the owners and understandable concern in the local community.  

“When he was interviewed, Ward denied the offences and said that he had grown up with horses and would never hurt any animal, but the forensic evidence linked him to the scene and resulted in his guilty pleas.  

“We hope it will provide some reassurance to the victims and to the wider community to know that he has now had to answer for his actions.” 

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It’s a dog’s life in Pudsey Dog Park

A small number of mixed and similar small breeds were welcome on the day. Here, a one quarter Pomeranian.

Words and photos: Ivor Hughes

The one-acre Pudsey Dog Park, in Roker Lane, was built by Debbie Davies in 2018 to meet the need for owners to let dogs off their leads in a safe and secure environment. So, six feet fencing all round with a double gated entry. The similarly sized training ground was added later.

The park is so secure that Yorkshire’s police forces and approved assessors use it to prepare reports for prosecutions under the Dangerous Dogs Act. Users of the training facilities include charities that find sponsors for abandoned dogs overseas.

Owner Debbie Davies said: “We organise breed specific days each weekend, usually for breeds that cannot usually be let off a lead in public places. And no, Chihuahuas aren’t in that category. Today was booked by a group of breed enthusiasts. It’s amazing how far some of our visitors travel. For example, we recently held a litter party for Dalmatians with visitors from as far away as Scotland and London.

“There are around fifty dogs here today. Our capacity for dogs is large, although our permit allows only 25 visitors’ cars.”

Here’s a slideshow of photos taken of the first Chihuahua Land event at the park organised by the Pawsome Doggy MEETUPS group and attended by members of the Chihuahuas of Wakefield and Leeds group:

Daily events, further information and booking forms are posted on the website, Contact or 07751 932461.

Update: This article was updated on Wednesday, 27 September to clarify that the event photographed was organised by Pawsome Doggy MEETUPS group and not Pudsey Dog Park. We also clarified it was attended by members of the Chihuahuas of Wakefield and Leeds group.

West Leeds RUFC secure five points at home against Pythons


By community reporter

West Leeds RUFC weathered a second-half fight back to remain the only unbeaten team in Yorkshire One

It was an enthralling match where both teams had extended periods of ascendency, with the final score favouring the home team 37 to 22.

Following last week’s disjointed performance against Bees, West Leeds were keen to deliver a more complete performance at Blue Hill Lane, with the pre-match chat focusing on starting strong.

Pythons had clearly not read the script and following a line out just inside the West Leeds’ half, scored the first try of the day, with the Harrogate winger scoring in the corner following a broken tackle in the midfield. 0-5.

Conceding the early try clearly shocked the home side, who started shifting through the gears and began to control possession. Following a period of extended possession West Leeds were able to draw a penalty, which was kicked into the corner by Breakwell. 

From the ensuing line out, which went well all day, West Leeds were able to score in the corner following two well worked phases. Booth came of his blind side wing to set up a ruck under the sticks, with the ball being recycled quickly, it was a simple case of shifting it along the back line, with Hoey putting away O’Neill in the corner to level the scores. 5-5.

West Leeds continued to control the first half, with the half back pairing of Bedford and Breakwell kicking well, ensuring the majority of the rugby was played in the Pythons half. 

The home side’s next try came from a poor clearance kick from Pythons, which allowed the West Leeds to shift the ball across the pitch with some great inter linking play eventually leading to Booth being tackled just short of the try line. The West Leeds forward pack then started going through the phases applying pressure until the ball was shipped out wide, with Chitiyo picking up a loose ball to weave his way over the try line. Breakwell slotted the ensuing conversion. 12-5.

Chitiyo secured his brace shortly after, collecting first phase ball from a midfield scrum in the West Leeds half, the outside centre scored a brilliant solo effort beating multiple defenders in a race to the corner. 19-5.

A period of West Leeds indiscipline saw the home side defending a line out five meters out, despite an excellent maul defence, Pythons were able to secure the ball and were able to go through the phases, eventually scoring under the posts after a missed tackle around the fringes. 19-10.

West Leeds were able to go through the phases after the ensuing kick-off, with big carries from across the forward pack driving the home team forward. Pythons conceded a penalty following a high tackle, which Breakwell dutifully converted bringing the score to 22-10.

West Leeds secured the bonus point just before half time, with a brilliant induvial effort from Breakwell. The fly half stripped the Pythons scrum half on the edge of the West Leeds 22 and ran untouched to score under the sticks. Converting his own try to bring the score to 29-10 at half time.

The first twenty minutes of the second half belonged to Pythons, they were able to shift the ball well across the pitch, building the phases before their Number 8, who carried well all game, was able to power over from short range. 29-17. 

West Leeds were reduced to 14 men shortly after the try giving Pythons the ascendency, who manipulated uncharacteristically poor West Leeds defence, to go through the phases and build field territory. 

Following an off the ball incident both West Leeds and Pythons lost a player to an early shower. From the ensuing penalty Pythons kicked to the corner and looked certain to score from a driving maul, but clever defence allowed the West Leeds pack to get under the ball and secure a goal line drop out.

However, the pressure told with the Pythons quickly returning to the West Leeds try line to score their fourth try of the day. With the number 8 powering over for another short range try. 29-22.

The game was now finely posed going into the final quarter with West Leeds looking like they may fall to their first defeat of the season to a physical Harrogate side. 

However, Wests had different ideas, deciding collectively that they weren’t going to be out dogged by the league new comers. A concerted rear-guard effort allowed West Leeds to survive the remaining period of the yellow card, almost scoring in the corner following a fluid phase of play. 

Back up to 14 men, West Leeds were able to apply pressure on the ensuing line out, causing the Pythons’ half back to clear poorly, gifting West Leeds an attacking line out just inside the Pythons’ 22.

A well-executed line out allowed Jones to secure the ball at the back of the maul, however a concerted push from the Pythons’ pack meant the maul span on the spot rather than move towards the try line. Scenting an opportunity Jones broke from the rear of the maul, beating three men from a standing start to dot down, what was ultimately the decisive score. 34-22.

Buoyed from the try, West Leeds were able to go through the phases from kick off, slick hands allowed the back line to make 50 meters, with Chitiyo eventually being brought down just outside the Pythons’ 22.

In the closing phases West Leeds continued to play the smarter rugby, managing territory and never giving the Pythons’ the chance to build phases or territory, while continuing to threaten to score from all over the park. 

The last score of the game came from a midfield jackal securing a West Leeds penalty directly under the sticks, Breakwell kicked the ensuing penalty to move West Leeds beyond two scores. 37-22.

Despite 20 minutes of madness after half time, West Leeds game nous was the deciding difference with the Wortley team playing clever rugby. However, the team continue to look for the complete performance, with plenty to work on going into Hullensians, not least in the tackle area. 

Man of the Match was Barney Carter, who carried well all game and was a constant nuisance at the break down. 

West Leeds Team
1. David Sidebottom
2. Nick Jones
3. Steve Anderson
4. Lewis Bromley (C)
5. John Elkington
6. Adam Newton
7. Sam Shepherd
8. Barney Carter
9. Joe Bedford
10. Keir Breakwell (VC)
11. Conor O’Neill
12. Bryn Perrot
13. Eliah Chitiyo
14. Dan Booth
15. Rian Hoey
16. Linus Gallagher
17. Joe Greenwood
18. Ben McEwan

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In photos: Autumn mists and sunny skies


Photographer Susan Tellum has captured autumn mists and bright days with her camera, capturing West Leeds colour along the canal and in Bramley.

Check out her slideshow of photos below:

Climate activist writes to Leeds Bradford Airport over night flights issue

Concern: Katie White

By David Spereall, local democracy reporter

A leading climate activist has written to the head of Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA) over fears it’s trying to ditch its night flight limit.

Charity leader Katie White, who received an OBE in 2013 for services to climate change engagement, claimed there will be “significant environmental impacts” from the airport’s plans.

LBA applied for a series of certificates of lawful development from Leeds City Council earlier this month, which effectively asked for confirmation it’s allowed to run supposedly quieter planes at night.

It comes just three months after bosses had to apologise for breaching its quota of night-time flights during the 2022 summer season.

Leeds Bradford Airport. Picture from Google Maps

Campaigners claim the latest move could result in “unlimited” night-time flying if the certificates are issued, but the airport denies this is and insists it’s only trying to “clarify” what rules it is bound by.

But in the letter to airport CEO Vincent Hodder, which has also been signed by several councillors from the Horsforth and Otley areas covered by flight paths, Ms White wrote: “Night flying has become a very contentious issue locally.

“We note that having only recently (June of this year) received an apology from you for breaching planning conditions, residents are incredibly concerned about the recent “clarification” which it is believed may lead to a consistent increase in night flights.

“We understand you are proposing that night flying is just for quieter planes. Can you clarify which of the current planes that fly out of Leeds Bradford airport will not meet the criteria for “quieter” planes?”

There’s been criticism of the way the airport has approached the matter. Campaigners have said LBA should have submitted an application to vary its planning conditions, which would have allowed members of the public to comment ahead of a decision.

Certificates of lawful development do not offer the public the same entitlement.

The letter added: “We further note that the developer has failed to apply to vary the relevant planning conditions but rather sought to do so in effect, but via a different route, namely a certificate of lawful use.

“We are concerned that this route seeks to circumvent important procedural safeguards in planning law and query its legality.”

A spokesman for the airport confirmed it would respond to the letter personally, but declined to comment any further.

The council has said it legally has to make a decision on whether or not to approve the certificates by November 1.

The letter in full

Dear Mr Hodder,  

The residents of Leeds have had a long and fruitful relationship with Leeds Bradford Airport, enjoying the opportunities for travel as well as benefitting from the jobs created in our local economy. 

However, any meaningful relationship has to be built on mutual trust. 

We are writing with concerns which we believe have the potential to significantly damage that trust. 

Night flying has become a very contentious issue locally. 

We note that having only recently (June of this year) received an apology from you for breaching planning conditions, residents are incredibly concerned about the recent “clarification” which it is believed may lead to a consistent increase in night flights. 

We understand you are proposing that night flying is just for quieter planes. Can you clarify which of the current planes that fly out of Leeds Bradford airport will not meet the criteria for “quieter” planes? 

We further note that the developer has failed to apply to vary the relevant planning conditions but rather sought to do so in effect, but via a different route, namely a certificate of lawful use. We are concerned that this route seeks to circumvent important procedural safeguards in planning law and query its legality. Please can you confirm that this is not the case? 

We believe that any proposed changes should have been subjected to an environmental impact assessment (under Schedule 2 of the EIA Regulations 2017) since the changes are, in effect, an extension of the development (as regards use). There are reasonable grounds to believe that the changes to night flights may have significant environmental impacts (on the basis that most modern aircraft would meet the standards you propose) thereby significantly increasing greenhouse gas emissions (for example). Please confirm whether the council has adopted a screening decision in relation to the application for the certificate?  

You will be familiar with the judgment in Hatton and Others v. the United Kingdom.  The ECtHR made clear that night flights engaged Article 8 ECHR and relied heavily on the robustness of the decision-making process (including monitoring of impacts and detailed analysis of health impacts in relation to Heathrow in particular) to reach the conclusion that it did.   We struggle to see that robustness is replicated here either in terms of evidence base or public participation such as it is in relation to the application for the certificate. Accordingly any decision to grant the certificate by the Local Authority subject to the process currently envisaged seems to us to be at risk of legal challenge. 

We look forward to hearing from you. 

Signed By:

Katie White OBE, Climate Campaigner

Ray Jones, Leeds City Councillor for Horsforth 

Emmie Bromley, Leeds City Councillor for Horsforth 

John Garvani, Leeds City Councillor for Horsforth 

Jamie Hanley, Chairman of Leeds Trinity University and Legal Director of the GMB Union  

John Eveleigh, Former Mayor of Otley  

Simon Dowling, Horsforth Town Councillor 

Gill Garvani, Horsforth Town Councillor 

Andy Wishart, Horsforth Town Councillor 

Aiden Goulden, Horsforth Town Councillor 

Mark Fletcher, Horsforth Town Councillor 

Francesca Gains, Horsforth Town Councillor 

Eddie Hyndes, Horsforth Town Councillor 

Julio Tumalan, Horsforth Town Councillor 

Becky Cousins, Horsforth Town Councillor 

Dave Brosnan, Horsforth Town Councillor 

Simon Ellis, Local Resident

Nigel Gill, Otley Town Councillor

Richard Davies, Otley Town Councillor

Leeds Bradford Airport. Picture from Google Maps.

Airport denies ‘unlimited’ night flight claims

Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA) has denied claims it wants to run an unlimited number of night-time flights.

Campaigners and local councillors fear applications submitted by LBA to Leeds City Council earlier this month would allow them to have supposedly quieter planes taking off and landing between 11pm and 7am.

Suggestions that approval of the applications would effectively free the airport of the strict cap on night-time flights it breached last summer were put to LBA, who said: “We have not submitted an application to operate an unlimited number of night flights at LBA.

“The certificate of lawfulness of existing use or development submissions are part of a process to clarify how the existing planning permission, which was originally consented nearly 30 years ago, should operate now.

“We are in ongoing, constructive dialogue with Leeds City Council to reach an agreed consensus on the issue.”

The original conditions the airport says it is seeking clarity on were imposed by the local authority in 2007.

Those conditions effectively banned planes above a certain noise threshold from running at night.

Two of the airport’s five applications, which have been submitted as certificates of lawful development, ask for the council to confirm the airport has “immunity from enforcement” if planes beneath a specificied noise threshold run at night.

A third asks for confirmation that, similarly, aircraft with a specific type of noise level is not among those banned at night.

Speaking earlier this month, Otley and Yeadon’s Liberal Democrat councillor Colin Campbell claimed if the applications were approved, it would “allow them to exempt the majority of planes from the quota and in effect have unlimited night-time flying.”

Campaigners Group for Action on Leeds Bradford Airport (GALBA), who first reported LBA to the council for breaching its night-time flight cap last summer, were also heavily critical.

A spokesperson said: “GALBA is angry to learn that LBA’s bosses want to change the rules on night-time flying simply because they can’t stick to the current rules.

“Their changes would mean many, many more planes flying at night, damaging peoples’ health and damaging our climate.”

Certificates of lawful development are different to planning applications, in that they are awarded to applicants to clarify whether or not a development or practice is within the rules.

Unlike planning applications, they are not subject to public consultation or advertisement.

Leeds City Council has said it will make a ruling on the applications by November 1.

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Work scheduled on £23.2m ‘Connecting West Leeds’ Ring Road improvements

Work will start on the Outer Ring Road.

The next phase of work on a £23.2 million scheme to improve the A6120 Outer Ring Road will start this winter, Leeds highways chiefs have confirmed today.

Improvements to Fink Hill, A6120 Broadway and Horsforth roundabout are already under way and due to complete at the end of this year as part of the Connecting West Leeds project.

And works along the rest of the ring road are also set to start, with the overall completion of both phases is scheduled for winter 2024. £20m of the work is funded by the Government’s Levelling Up Fund, with the remaining £3.257m being provided by West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

Here’s how the work is shaping up over the next 12 months:

Phase one

Phase one of the work is made up of improvements to Fink Hill, A6120 Broadway, Horsforth roundabout and the creation of a segregated off-highway cycle path.

Improvements to Fink Hill, A6120 Broadway and Horsforth roundabout are already under way and due to complete at the end of this year. Construction of the segregated cycle path, from Horsforth roundabout to Rodley roundabout, will begin early next year and is scheduled to complete by autumn 2024.

Phase two

Phase two is made up of an accessible bridge, connecting the communities of Calverley and Farsley; an off-highway mixed-use path for walking, wheeling and cycling between Rodley roundabout and Dawsons Corner; traffic light improvements to Rodley roundabout; no right turn safety measures out of the junctions of Calverley Bridge and Calverley Lane; planting and landscaping; and the reduction of speed to 50mph from Horsforth roundabout to Stanningley Bypass at Henconner Lane Bridge, including enforcement through average speed cameras.

The second phase of works are currently at the detailed design stage. Construction of the mixed-use path is scheduled for winter 2023 and the accessible footbridge in spring 2024.

The council says a proposed accessible ramp to Leeds-Liverpool canal is not possible to deliver due to land ownership constraints. Alternative options for the ramp also cannot be progressed due to impact on existing utilities, and extensive tree removal including the loss of at least two mature oak trees. Instead, alternative upgrades to the existing cycle network link to the canal are being planned to improve access. 

Speed reduction

The speed reduction to 50mph on the A6120 Outer Ring Road and A647 Stanningley Bypass, from Horsforth roundabout to Stanningley Bypass at Henconner Lane Bridge will be enforced by average speed cameras, a first for West Yorkshire, and work has started to install the traffic signs. The new speed limit is due to start some time next month.

Additionally, the existing 40mph speed limit on A647 Bradford Road from Dawsons Corner to Thornbury roundabout will be enforced by average speed cameras following years of concerns by local residents and councillors over speeding drivers and road safety.

Road signage to support the new lower speed limit and the calibration of the average speed cameras has commenced and is due to complete next month. Once completed, the cameras will become operational.

Councillor Helen Hayden, Leeds City Council’s executive member for sustainable development and infrastructure, said: “It’s encouraging to see a major scheme developing in the north-west and west areas of Leeds. Phase two proposals were met with a 74% positive public response at consultation and I’m pleased the momentum of delivering this work is being swiftly progressed.

“Both phases aim to better link local communities, improve active travel options for residents, and make progress towards our carbon-neutral targets.

“The new speed limit, and enforcement through average speed cameras, will aim to reduce the number of speed-related collisions on these routes, creating a safer road environment for all users whilst aiming to meet our Vision Zero target of zero deaths on Leeds roads by 2040.”

The scheme is jointly funded by the Government’s Levelling Up Fund (LUF) and WYCA West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund. The West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund is the largest element of the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership Growth Deal, and is part of a £1 billion package of Government investment delivered in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region. The £4.8bn Levelling Up Fund is designed to invest in infrastructure that improves everyday life across the UK and supports town centre and high street regeneration, local transport projects, and cultural and heritage assets.

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Burley: Public meeting to discuss theft of historic paving slabs

Paving stone thefts are causing problems in Burley. Photo: Connor Briggs

By John Baron

A public meeting will will help lead the community fight back against the theft of historic stone pavements in Burley.

WLD reported earlier this year on residents’ concerns over ongoing problems with the theft of Yorkshire Stone pavements after 25ft stretch of pathway was stolen at the Lumley Road junction with Lumley Walk. Thefts have continued unabated and the public meeting will debate the problems.

Councillor Andy Rontree (Lab, Kirkstall) has organised the meeting for Monday, 9 October at 7pm at Burley Greenhow Community Centre, Haddon Road LS4 2HN.

A stone theft in Burley. Photo by Conor Briggs (April 2023)

Cllr Rontree said: “The Kirkstall councillors are appalled by recent incidents in Burley, where sections of our historic stone pavements have been stolen from our streets overnight. This puts pedestrians at risk and makes an unsightly mess, and local people and taxpayers are left to pick up the cost of repairing the damage.

“We’ve arranged a public meeting [where] we can tell you what the council is doing to tackle this, and we’ve invited council officers and local police to join us.

“But, just as importantly, we also want to hear from anyone with ideas on what we can do as a community to fight back against these crimes. Please come and share your thoughts with us?”

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