Response to point 5 of M & G’s Key points about Parlington Village

Comments on point 5, 160 hectares for building.

  1. The Parlington Estate extends to some 770 hectares. In the March submission to LCC only 160 ha of the housing development. This land is located at the centre of the estate and is currently used as arable farmland.

100 hectares = 1 sq. km

The submission (as stated above) is to build on 160 hectares = 1.6 sq. km.

If 1,850 houses are built, Parlington will have 1,850/1.6 = 1,156 houses per sq. km.

If each house is occupied by 2 people, the population density associated with the building in Parlington will be 2,312 people per sq. km. and 3,700 people in total over the 160 hectares.

If each house is occupied by 3 people, the population density associated with the building in Parlington will be 3,468 people per sq.km. and 5,550 people in total over the 160 hectares.

According to Wikipedia, in 2009, the population of Swarcliffe and Stanks was 6,751 people.

An additional comparator can be found in information from the ONS (Office for National Statistics) from 2011

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160105160709/http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171780_275367.pdf

UA/Met county/County Local Authority Total pop 000s Area (Sq km) People per sq km
East Riding of Yorkshire UA 339 2,408 141
Kingston upon Hull, City of UA 264 71 3,694
North East Lincolnshire UA 157 192 820
North Lincolnshire UA 161 846 191
York UA 202 272 744
North Yorkshire 600 8,038 75
North Yorkshire Craven 55 1,177 47
North Yorkshire Hambleton 88 1,311 67
North Yorkshire Harrogate 159 1,308 121
North Yorkshire Richmondshire 53 1,319 40
North Yorkshire Ryedale 54 1,507 36
North Yorkshire Scarborough 109 817 133
North Yorkshire Selby 83 599 138
South Yorkshire Met County 1,328 1,552 856
South Yorkshire Barnsley 228 329 692
South Yorkshire Doncaster 291 568 512
South Yorkshire Rotherham 255 287 889
South Yorkshire Sheffield 556 368 1,510
West Yorkshire Met County 2,250 2,029 1,109
West Yorkshire Bradford 513 366 1,399
West Yorkshire Calderdale 203 364 557
West Yorkshire Kirklees 410 409 1,003
West Yorkshire Leeds 799 552 1,448
West Yorkshire Wakefield 326 339 961

Thoughts on the M & G open session, Friday 7th October.

I attended the session at Aberford Village Hall on the above date. My early impressions are:

  1. M & G seemed to be promoting the village as though it’s a fait accompli, this applies particularly Mr Renshaw Watts;
  2. Attendees were requested to complete a questionnaire that was anonymous (nowhere to sign and leave contact details). I’m wary that any information derived from it could potentially be appropriated to validate a point that might be unintended by the responder;
  3. The plans as described by the main presenter were implausible. As an example – the fact that the site will have a single ingress/egress road to cater for potential car traffic and bus traffic for 1,850 homes (Is that feasible? Is that legal?).
  4. The Key Point about Parlington Village flyer doesn’t justify the destruction of the estate, and on closer inspection infers that the entire site’s use will be subject to change (see point 10 on side 2 of the flyer “…. woodland complemented by a network of pathways etc….”). It makes reference to a more extensive change to the estate and to further building beyond the houses, shops, healthcare facilities and even commercial buildings stated in the flyer. This information reinforces the questions in my point 3 above.

I hope to attend the meeting on Friday 14th October at the John Rylie Centre in Barwick. In the meantime, I’m keen to increase the level of discussion and requisite actions and start by suggesting that no one completes the M & G questionnaire.

The overriding message that the M & G team should be presented with, and take back to the estate’s owners, is that this destruction is not wanted, it is unnecessary and people in this area will not support M & G in realising an increased value of this asset to enhance the current M & G “£25.9 billion of assets” portfolio (words from M & G’s “Key Points about Parlington Village”).

Any proposal at Parlington will increase the burden of an already creaking road infrastructure around the M1, A63, A64 and A58.

I suggest that an alternative “Save Parlington” questionnaire is circulated, completed and deposited in the M & G intro (M & G’s physical receptacle for completed questionnaires in the room) on Friday.

HB

Transcript of the M & G Key Points about Parlington Village

The text below is my transcript of the M & G “Key Points about Parlington Village” flyer as made available last Friday at the Aberford exhibition. Please read carefully. I’ve inserted the numbers to make future referencing easier. Also, I dictated this into Word and therefore may be a few errors. It’s worthwhile studying each paragraph and cross referencing with other available documents.

Key points about Parlington Village

1. The Parlington estate has been brought forward as a suitable strategic site which is well placed to contribute in a sustainable way to the required housing target for the Outer North East area of Leeds City Council’s Site allocation plans.

2. Parlington is in the sole ownership of the M&G UK property fund and is managed by M & G Real Estate which celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2014. M & G Real Estate is one of the largest property investors in the world with £25.9 billion of assets, including cash, in the UK in Europe and Asia (as of June 2016).

3. Ensuring the delivery of strategic housing sites is a challenging issue where there are a multiplicity of land ownerships, as is often the case with such proposals. The proposals for Parlington village are substantially strengthened by the fact of M& G’s sole ownership and the ability to access institutional funds. M&G will combine the roles of landowner, promoter and lead developer, and so will ensure timely delivery of the site and a consistently high quality of development.

4. The concept for Parlington Village is to create a sustainable community within an attractive and high-quality natural and built environment which respects its historic context and surroundings.

5. The Parlington Estate extends to some 770 hectares. In the March submission to LCC only 160 ha of the housing development. This land is located at the centre of the estate and is currently used as arable farmland.

6. The vast majority of this estate will remain as farmland and woodland. This area will be subject to appropriate management plan which will help to create a defensible boundary, ensuring that Parlington Village will have its own identity and that it will not merge with other nearby villages.

7. It is envisaged that a full range of housing sizes and types, to buy or rent will be available to meet the needs of single people or families; Young or old, and those with special housing requirements. There will be a provision of affordable housing that will be protected so remains affordable in perpetuity. It is likely that there will be opportunities to self-build.

8. Parlington Village will benefit from the range of community investments adding both social value and sustainability to the village. This could include schools, healthcare, retail and employment facilities.

9. The development could provide space for businesses, shopping outlets and services providing a wide range of new employment opportunities for residents of Parlington Village as well as other existing communities in the area.

10. It is proposed that the existing and new woodland would be complimented by a network of pathways and open green spaces parks and gardens allotments and community orchards together with children’s play spaces. There is the opportunity to establish new linked to the surrounding countryside giving greater public access to the estate for the benefit of all communities in the area.

11. The Parlington Estate adjoins Junction 47 of the M1, as well as nearby to the established train stations at Garforth, local bus routes and cycle links.

12. The initial concept for motor vehicle access has been to create a high-capacity roundabout, this approach would discourage traffic associated with Parlington Village from routing through the surrounding villages.

13. Within Parlington Village there will be great emphasis placed on creating a network of safe and attractive footpaths and cycle routes to connect schools shops and employment areas as well as to the surrounding communities.

14. Any developments will seek to preserve and enhance the architectural importance historic interest and setting of heritage assets to ensure the character identity and history of the site is carried forward into future generations.

15. There is a major opportunity, through a further management plan of existing and new woodland, which could mitigate ecological impacts arising from the development and enhance the biodiversity of the wider area.

16. The development will link up to appropriate infrastructure for the provision of utilities such as gas electricity water sewage and telecommunications.

Parlington Village Invitation (pt2)

Continuing on from the earlier post, here I look at the second page of promotional blurb…

Continuing Paragraphs Five to Eight:

The vision for Parlington Village is to deliver an outstanding master planned community to help meet the city’s requirement for housing.

Ideas are at a conceptual stage but the village will be designed to provide a broad range of housing sizes and types, to buy or rent. It will include a full range of affordable housing and benefit from significant community investment, including provision for schools, healthcare, retail and employment together with good existing, and potential, connectivity to road, rail, bus and cycle links.

The Parlington Estate extends to about 2,000 acres. Only the central area of the estate will be developed, leaving the majority of the land as farm and woodland, which will be covered by a comprehensive management plan preventing further expansion and allowing greater public access.

The Parlington Estate is managed by M&G Real Estate. M&G Real Estate is one of the UK’s largest institutional property investors and has considerable expertise and access to potential sources of funding that can help deliver the proposed development.

Taking each paragraph in turn:

Paragraph One. No one would say otherwise, this is an irrelevance, I always worry when I hear the word community, it is so often used in a patronising fashion.

Paragraph Two. The old community message again, the first sentence is standard fare, but the investment for schooling, healthcare and retail calls for a large established population before they can be viable. Take Aberford as an example, it has lost all its shops bar one, which is an offshoot from the Arabian pub, I’m excluding Aberford Interiors as that is out of the village. Only one pub left, one doctors surgery gone, post office gone. There is a primary school, partly supported by the lease of land off the Parlington Estate, otherwise it is hardly a paragon of modern school architecture, it could readily do with improvement. Methodist church gone for re-development, garage caput! Employment, they mean rented space for people to open offices etc, the employment is not encouraged by the development, that is down to the enterprise of individuals and businesses. Then we have the nonsense about ‘good existing, and potential, connectivity to road, rail, bus and cycle links.’  This subject is worthy of a long post on its own. Suffice to say I think you could count the number of cyclists heading to work on one hand, and even less when the weather is inclement.

Paragraph Three. “Only the central area of the estate will be developed”, it really doesn’t matter its all green belt. The last sentence is pretty irritating, there are numerous footpaths around the estate a fraction of them open to public access. Past management has seen every bit of the estate deteriorate, from walls collapsing to listed structures caving in, from no maintenance of the pathways open to the public, and appalling dredging of the two ponds. Not to mention the abandoning of the old lake, below the Hollins, which was a pleasure ground in Victorian times and hosted annual fetes. It also had the benefit of controlling the water progress of the Cock Beck, useful when the village of Aberford floods. All abandoned, good management… what!

Paragraph Four. The history of the estate, and who owns it is certainly worthy of enquiry, it was last on the books of the Prudential at circa £12M, having been owned by them it then passed to Swiss-Re then back to the Prudential, now we are told it is in the possession of M&G, a subsidiary of the Prudential! Until the recent past the estate was managed by external surveyors, Lane Fox, then Strutt & Parker following a merger, finally it was taken on by Law & Fiennes, so now it seems the M&G group have stepped into the breach.

To Summarise, its GREEN BELT, its GREEN BELT, its GREEN BELT! And oh bye the way a pokey little piece of land adjacent to the Aberford Village Hall, also in green belt has been rejected for a small number of houses, 5 I believe, where the land owner was prepared to fund a new village hall. So where is this idea of community!

Another Reference from Save Parlington

From the Facebook page “SaveParlington”

What Can I do to Stop This? – (2) CONTACT LEEDS – DEVELOPMENT PLAN PANEL – John Procter

The ‘Development Plan Panel’ is a committee of Councillors who will ultimatley decide which sites are allocated for development.

Leeds is divided into areas, of which Parlington is within the Outer North East (ONE).

Cllr. John Proctor represents ONE on the Developement Plan Panel.

You can also attend the panel meetings and you can request the opportunity to speak to panel.

(http://democracy.leeds.gov.uk/mgCommitteeDetails.aspx?ID=450)

Email: john.procter@leeds.gov.uk

Save Parlington

A Facebook Page “Save Parlington” is making some noises against the development. Here is a post from earlier today!

What Can I do to Stop This? – 1. Contact Your Ward Councillors

I have been asked by several people what can i do to stop this? A good starting point is to let your local councillors know you disagree with the Councils Proposals. The Parlington site is not yet allocated for development they can lobby the descision making Councillors and officers to stop the development.

They have a responsibility to inform and assist you with your objections. You voted them in and if you are not happy, you can always vote them out.

Their email addresses are:

rachael.procter@leeds.gov.uk

matthew.robinson@leeds.gov.uk

ryan.stephenson@leeds.gov.uk

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Parlington Village Invitation

The developers for the Parlington Estate have sent out a flier to local residents in Aberford and Barwick in Elmet, and perhaps further afield. It promotes their objectives, however the wording on the first page inside the brochure titled “The site Allocations Plan” is misleading. Here are my comments along with the wording from the brochure.

The Site Allocation Plan

The Site Allocation Plan identifies potential sites to make sure that sufficient land is available in appropriate locations to meet the growth targets set out in the Core Strategy for housing, employment, retail and greenspace. There is an identified need to provide 66,000 new homes between 2012 and 2028.

The Site Allocation Plan is the first step to delivering those homes. In order to manage the process the city has been divided into a series of Housing Market Characteristic Areas (HMCA’s) each with housing requirement target.

The Outer North East Area is principally made up of the Harewood and Wetherby Wards. The preferred approach for the area is that a major part of the housing is delivered as a strategic site rather than as further development to existing villages.

The Headley Hall site, originally identified as a suitable location, was withdrawn from the site allocation process and left a shortfall in the housing requirement for Outer North East Area. The Parlington Estate has been brought forward as a suitable alternative; well placed to fulfil the required housing allocation target. In March 2016 M&G Real Estate made a submission to the site allocation process for the creation of a new community within the Parlington Estate.

The site allocation plan is a development strategy for local government, in this matter Leeds City Council, and its purpose is indeed to identify appropriate locations for housing etc. We should not however confuse a commercial enterprise, in this matter M&G Real Estate, with the duties placed on local government, but the four opening paragraphs seek to gain credibility by association with the governmental body and its responsibilities, by appeal to authority, commonly referred to in latin as “argumentum ad verecundiam” a well known fallacious method of argument. The phraseology being used to achieve the goal is to take the responsibilities of local government and disseminate them as if by their authority. Thus suggesting the Parlington development is a wholly desirable proposition put forward by a benevolent authority, for whom we as the developers are merely a supplicant, or passive provider.

If we re-phrased this transcript to say:

We the landowners have identified an opportunity to build a new town in the green belt because a previously considered location has dropped out of the frame, in consequence we stand to make a massive fortune on our investment, and the historic landscape of Parlington, largely unchanged for centuries will be gone for ever. But hey who cares, we will have provided some modern boxes to ameliorate the current housing crisis, and walked away with some serious dosh!

What do you think?

Parlington Objection Group

3D Triumphal Arch

The entire purpose of this blog is singular; to prevent the development of the Parlington Estate into a modern township, destined over the course of the next decade to be home to some 15,000 or so residents.

The estate has a long history and is one of a very few locations on the east side of Leeds where it is possible to wander through tranquil and beautiful countryside, largely unaffected by the modern world, a truly inspirational location, yet on the doorstep to various village communities, such as Aberford, Barwick in Elmet, Scholes, Scarthingwell, and the larger but still in walking distance town of Garforth.