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Meeting will discuss Kirkstall Abbey path changes

Changes to plans for a pedestrian and cycle path linking Kirkstall Abbey grounds to woods near Kirkstall Forge have been met with local concern.

The proposed pathway was agreed as part of the outline planning permission granted to developers CEG for their multi-million pound Kirkstall Forge development. Within the permission was money to be put towards community improvements.

At last night’s Kirkstall Neighbourhood Forum annual general meeting concerns were expressed by residents at the meeting that changes to the path now included bikes and that this and other points had not been adequately consulted on by CEG or the council.

“We have a few questions that need answering,” said one woman. “I’m not convinced cycles whizzing past is the best option, but the community hasn’t been properly consulted.”

The aim of the path is to be part of a wider aspiration to create a continuous corridor along the River Aire, known as Kirkstall Valley Park.

Residents were told it was not possible for it to completely follow an existing riverside walk due to its width, steep inclines and threat of flooding, so it will take an alternative route through woodland.

It was agreed that Cllr Hannah Bithell (Lab, Kirkstall) would set up a meeting between councillors, interested residents, CEG and walking and cycling charity Sustrans to attempt to resolve any issues.

The path will go to the edge of lane owned by CEG and ultimately connect to Kirkstall Forge.

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