The sign of the Times

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Angry Protests

People are getting annoyed, their village, their community… but the dysfunctional system thinks it knows best. Think again LCC.

A recent appearance on the streets of Aberford are protest signs. Not something you come across everyday in the sleepy village! But a definite indication that there is a lot of resentment about the sudden introduction of a huge new town development literally on the doorstep. Also it being a green belt location well loved for its beautiful country walks along old trackways through well wooded landscape, why develop on it?

If you sit by and let it happen, one day you’ll wake up in an urban landscape of continuous housing from Aberford, through Parlington to Garforth and on. Don’t let it happen, it will be a one way street, no turning back. So make your rotest known to the Council in Leeds, and also at Parish level.

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.