• Handpicked Wetherby

Locals fume at plans for 800 new homes next to Wetherby Racecourse which 'will ruin the beauty&#


More than 100 people have sent in letters objecting the proposals.


Developers Taylor Wimpey want to build the homes on farmland near Wetherby Racecourse(Image: 2015 Getty Images)

Controversial plans to build hundreds of houses in Wetherby are facing strong opposition from local residents who say that the homes 'will certainly ruin the beauty' of the surrounding area.

Outline blueprints to build 800 homes, along with a new school, supermarket and park near Racecourse Approach are set to go before Leeds City Council’s influential city plans panel for a decision next week.

But not everyone is happy with the proposals, as more than 100 letters objecting to the plans were sent to the authority from disgruntled locals, warning of the effects such a large-scale development would have on nearby schools, roads and amenities.


The homes would be built near the A1M on the eastern edge of Wetherby (Image: Google Earth)

The site, on the eastern edge of Wetherby, is currently used as farmland, but rules mean that it can be converted into homes or a school under the council’s Site Allocations Plan, expected to be adopted this summer.

A letter sent to planning chiefs from Wetherby Town Council stated: “The Town Council’s concerns continue to centre around the ability of Wetherby’s infrastructure to cope with the demands that would be placed upon it by an additional 800 dwellings.

“Whilst there may be plans for the later provision of a primary school and a food store this does not address local concerns about road capacity, leisure facilities, dental and medical services.”

"There is no place or want for any more houses and it will certainly ruin the beauty"

Another letter from a nearby resident stated: “Please don’t take away our greenery, and extend what is Wetherby. There is no place for any more traffic, or shops or houses. There is no place or want for any more houses and it will certainly ruin the beauty.”

A design and access statement provided by the developer stated: “(It) will result in the creation of a development which responds to it environment and integrates well with the adjoining urban area whilst not harming the surrounding open countryside or any other material consideration.

“The master plan and the subsequent diagrams will and can successfully deliver up to 800 dwellings within the applicants ownership and up to 1,100 on adjacent land taking into account all of the constraints and opportunities affecting the site.”

A council report on the proposals states officers considered the scheme to be acceptable in principle, adding: “The proposal would therefore deliver additional housing in the short term, as well as the provision of a significant level of affordable housing.

“The proposal is therefore policy compliant and is considered to represent a sustainable form of development. The benefits of delivering new housing in this sustainable location are considered to outweigh any limited harm identified.

“On this basis the application is recommended for approval.”

The plans are set to be discussed at Leeds City Council’s city plans panel on Thursday, March 28.

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