Campaigners win “tactical victory” as plans to build on Leeds sports site withdrawn

Former school’s sports facilities

Campaigners fighting to save sports facilities in Leeds from development won a tactical victory yesterday after plans for the site were withdrawn.

A controversial planning application to build homes and a convenience store on the site of the former Leeds Girls High School facilities in the Hyde Park area was scheduled to go before councillors at one of the city’s planning panels yesterday.

But that never happened.

The planning application to build 25 terraced houses, eight flats and a retail store on the site of the sports hall, playing field and swimming pool of the former school on Victoria Rd was withdrawn by developers Chartford Homes and Holbeck Land.

The plans have been opposed by local councillors, MPs and campaign groups who have been calling for the facilities to be made available to local schools and the local community as part of the “Olympic legacy”.

Door open to new application

The decision to withdraw the application came after council planning officers recommended last week that the plans be rejected.

But the withdrawal doesn’t mean that the site is safe from development. It’s more of a tactical victory in a war over the site that’s set to rumble on.

Why?

Because council planning officers have only objected to the detail of the plans. They believe that if they tried to block the site being used in principle for homes and retail they’d end up losing if they were taken to a planning tribunal.

So the door is still open for the developers to come back with revamped plans responding to the specific objections raised by the council.

Watch this space.

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