The moor the merrier – Armley Festival given go-ahead to use Armley Moor

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Armley Festival WILL be able to use Armley Moor for its popular annual event, it has emerged.

WLD reported last week on ambitious plans to dig up parts of Armley Moor to install innovative ground source heat pump systems in neighbouring Burnsall Court, Gardens, Croft and Grange tower blocks.

The work was due to start before the end of August, meaning the popular Armley Festival, which draws thousands to Town Street and Armley Moor each year, wouldn’t be able to use the land. The situation had led to months of uncertainty for the team of volunteer festival organisers, who were set to use Armley Town Street instead.

But members of Armley Forum last night heard that the event on 3 September would be able to use the Moor after all.

Fun in the sun on Armley Moor – deckchairs gator at Armley Festival 2021. Photo: Paul Abraham

Meeting chair, Cllr Jim McKenna (Armley, Lab) confirmed: “I have today received an e-mail from the contractors today confirming that Armley Festival will be able to use the moor.”

His comments were backed by David Boutle, chair of the Armley Common Right Trust which runs the land on behalf of the people of Armley, who had also received confirmation.

The new underground heating scheme will provide new low-carbon heating and hot water systems which are better for the environment and cheaper for tenants to run. Contractors Cenergist will use the Moor for access and storage during the works, which could run into January. Work was due to start three months ago but had been delayed due to legal issues.

Boreholes would be dug 160m down to help create the heat pumps, but Cenergist stressed that the moor would be returned to its present state afterwards, with the only noticeable changes being extra man hole covers.

Last night’s meeting heard concerns from residents in one of the Burnsall flats that they had received no information on the new heating from the council, and only found out about it by reading reports on West Leeds Dispatch.

Cllr McKenna said he would take the issue up with the council’s housing office and get them to write a letter to all affected blocks as soon as possible, providing details of the works.

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