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Greg Mulholland MP slams Leeds City Council decision to allow Adel development despite objection from Historic England due to 12th century Church

April 26, 2017 12:55 PM

In the House of Commons, Greg Mulholland, MP for Leeds North West, has slammed Labour councillors who voted in favour of a controversial plan to build 100 homes on greenfield land opposite the 12th century St John the Baptist Church, in Adel, despite a strong objection from Historic English. All 7 Labour councillors on the planning panel voted for the development despite the very strong concerns of the damage this development would do to the surroundings of this historic building.

Labour run Leeds City Council have been consistently criticised for refusing to revise its housing targets plans for 70,000 new homes in the city, despite fears over the destruction of communities and unsustainability of the extra homes on roads and local services. All the houses that are being built are will be expensive housing in areas, on greenfield sites, and do nothing to address the shortage of affordable and social houses and the housing crisis in other parts of Leeds.

The plans received 128 letters of objection, including three from Historic England and from Greg Mulholland MP and local ward councillors whilst no letters of support were received. August 2015, blank

Greg also criticised the planning system and the refusal of the Conservative Government to accept that the current law is far too skewed in favour of developers and doesn't give any meaningful say to local people about development in their areas.

In 2014, Greg brought forward a Bill entitled, 'National Planning Policy Framework (Community Involvement) Bill'. It sought to both build on the initiatives in the Localism Bill to give local communities a genuine say in planning decisions and to create a better, fairer balance between the rights of developers and the rights of local communities. This would mean that houses were built where they were needed rather than where a developer would prefer them to be built.

The Bill followed campaigning on the issue from Greg after fears were raised that plans to build on the Green Belt in Leeds would not only destroy areas of beauty but would put unrealistic pressure on local services.

Commenting, Greg Mulholland MP said:

"It is deeply disappointing that Labour councillors failed to listen to local residents and Historic England and voted through this controversial development. Once again Leeds City Council are giving into developers who just want to build expensive houses on greenfield sites, which does nothing to help the housing shortage nor help create homes for lower income families.

"The Conservative Government also needs to wake up to the reality of the planning system, which they so far have refused to reform. The current law does not give enough weight to residents and community groups and their valid concerns and is far too skewed in favour of large developers."

"The Government need to address this and even up that balance and I will continue to campaign for a fairer planning system that will both prevent the wrong kind of development in the wrong places, like this one, and will instead encourage building of the houses that we need to deal with the real issues in the housing market and on brownfield sites".