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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.

2017 Christmas Cards of Parlington

Last year we made something of a “wow” with our Christmas cards of winter scenes in Parlington. This year we intend to do likewise and we hope they are as well received as those from 2016. The money raised by selling the cards has contributed to our fighting fund, this year’s cards will add to our reserves, to take on those who would destroy the greenbelt and historic landscape that is Parlington. A Parlington calendar for 2018 is on the blocks, so keep an eye out for it on Facebook or here.

Here is a preview of the four cards which will be on sale very soon.

SPAG AS XMAS-04

By Andy Sinclair

xmas17-as-snow-feb-2009-040

By Andy Sinclair

xmas17-P2208646-V2-lum2018

By Brian Hull

xmas17-PB296711-V2

By Brian Hull

Leeds Development Plans Panel

Save Parlington members will be at Civic Hall once again this afternoon (Tuesday 21st November 2017) for the Development Plans Panel meeting. We don’t expect to hear anything different to what we already know about the ‘new’ plans for Parlington. The panel are after all only being asked to note LCCs amendments. These amendments will undoubtedly be passed on to the Executive Board where they will be ‘considered’ on 13 December. Save Parlington will continue to lobby all Executive Board members in the meantime.

spag-image-fb-21-11-17

SAP Form Objection App

The SAP form App is now up and running, with many hundreds of visitors, I think it is fair to say its doing the job it was set up for. The principle idea behind the simple app is to allow people from literally anywhere on the planet, who have an Internet connection, to make an objection to the Parlington Development proposal, which unless we win, will be included in the Site Allocations Plan (SAP) by Leeds City Council.

Remember an objection can be concluded in a matter of a few minutes using the App, even if you re-structure the wording to your personal taste. Your objection may be sidelined by the council but the more we have the less likely this will be the case. We are aiming to exceed the November effort of 3,500 objections, can we double it?

If you use the site, please note that two domains go to the same place. i.e. village.parlington.co.uk and save-parlington.org this is because the former domain was set up first and continues, whilst the latter better expresses our intentions.

Parlington town will be a blot on the landscape for centuries if this proposal gets approval, your objection will be added to a call by the people of this country to get local government to listen to the people FIRST. They only govern with consent! The proposal in no way meets the criteria set out by the council themselves for a sustainable community. Also if you look at the SAP in total not just the North East Outer Area (HCMA) but the South East Outer Area as well, we believe the housing target is in the order of 20,000 homes. Anyone travelling by public transport or private knows that the area will be swamped by such massive development. Then there are all the support services which will be affected, schools, surgeries, dentists, etc! This is shear madness, you’ve got a week to object!

Ancient Roadway?

I posted this to Facebook:

I believe the hedgerow between the former Deer Park and the adjacent field, which runs roughly north south from Parlington Lane beyond the bank of beech trees by the east end of the Dark Arch towards Hook Moor. It looks like an ancient roadway, being a sunk pathway bounded on each side by hawthorn and fits well with my investigations into the use of Parlington Lane before the Dark Arch was built.

Additional Information

The area is outlined on the aerial view of the proposed site shown below. Essentially it appears to be a very old roadway, running from the corner of the field adjacent to an old pond near the east end of the Dark Arch towards Hook Moor. Additionally there is a sump by the pond which looks as if it was designed to collect water to be transferred to Parlington Lane. A cast iron pipe supplies the water, perhaps as a source of coolant for the train, after 1870. Bits of the system are still intact and there was a building nearby which is long gone. To anyone who knows the area it is by “Nellies Tree”. The building may have been introduced during WW2 and not be associated with the drainage system.

hedgerow

M & G Questionnaire, an Alternative

Although Howard Bedford recommended on FaceBook that no one completes the M & G Questionnaire we feel that an alternative form could be deposited with them which more accurately represents the issue being considered. You can download a “pdf” file here to print and complete to replace the one offered by the developer. You will need to provide a name and email address to obtain the file. The purpose is to offer the developers a more accurate assessment of public opinion and gather details of people where possible who have a view on the proposed development. The information will remain private and only be used for purposes of improving the number of objections to the Parlington Development.

The form is partially completed except for the box 9, where there is space for each visitor to fill in their details, this prevents the information from being used ad hoc by M & G. Also each of the response sections has sufficient space to add additional comments if wanted.

 

 

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.

The sign of the Times

protest-sign-swan-wall-cattle-lane

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!