Guiseley Allotments Under Threat from Developers

Allotments at Coach Road, Guiseley are once again under threat from greedy and predatory developers having been classified as suitable for housing in the latest LCC Site Allocations Plan.  A prominent local allotmenteer and conservationist, Roger Davis, has asked me to publish the following account for your information.  If you are concerned about more new housing in the immediate area of Guiseley please read on:

SAVE COACH ROAD ALLOTMENTS IN GUISELEY

 Coach Road Allotments is an area of about 10 acres lying near to the centre of Guiseley.  It has been in existence since 1921 when Park Gate Allotments were formed on land once owned by Jonathan Peate, a well known local mill owner.  Over the years the allotments became a very busy and well used community of allotment owners all using their land in many diverse ways.  There were pig breeders, hens, goats, sheep, and even young cows all raised and used to help family subsistence as well as pigeon racing, horses, pet dogs and a variety of fancy birds.  Besides keeping livestock, most owners grew vegetables and show flowers.  In recent years only a few owners now use their land, resulting in some allotments lying waste and unused but not entirely abandoned as plenty of wild life has now taken advantage of the shrubbery and rough ground and owls and bats can often be seen flying around the area, foraging.

In June 2013 Leeds City Council published their Site Allocations Plan options identifying possible future housing land and residents were asked for their views on the site suggestions.  The Allotments (site reference 1113) were identified as a Red colour code meaning a “site which is not considered suitable for allocation for housing”.  Following the consultation a “Draft Report on Site Allocations Plan-Proposals” was published in January 2015.  In this document the apparent classification of the Coach Road Allotments had been drastically altered to:

 “Allocate the site for housing with stipulations that half of the site looking onto Silverdale Avenue be laid out for allotments with management plan to ensure that they are available for public use.  Demand for allotments in the area and proper laying out of the site will increase useage.”

 This decision is totally unacceptable as residents of Guiseley have not been given the opportunity to voice their opinions because the RED colour coding defined the allotments as SAFE from exacerbating the over-development of Guiseley with expensive unwanted housing.  The whole 10 acre site should be preserved for its individual character as a green open space lying so near to the bustle and traffic of central Guiseley.  This can be achieved by ensuring that allotments presently neglected are brought back into use by offering them to prospective allotmenteers (there is an extensive waiting list) or by instructing the absentee owners to use their land.

 Please support the future of Coach Road Allotments by lobbying Leeds City Council and our local Councillors.  If this land is built on, it will be lost forever!!!

 For further details please contact: 

Roger Davis,  Aireborough Civic Society     Email:  roger.davis60@ntlworld.com

Other significant concerns for Guiseley residents are as follows:

  • Aireborough is to provide land for 2,300 more new houses
  • Guisely has taken more than its fair share of new housing, with no infrastructure improvements, since the year 2000
  • Its population has risen by 11% between the 2001 and 2011 Censuses
  • The subsequent increase in housing has resulted in gridlock on the A65 and rat runs on most surrounding smaller roads
  • There are insufficient school places available which means more parents transporting their children to other areas and yet more traffic as a result
  • There are several hundred names on the allotment waiting list and the unused land at Coach Road should be made available to these would-be allotmenteers

Please help preserve this important greenspace by complaining to LCC at:

Forward Planning and Implementation, Leeds City Council, 2 Rossington Street, Leeds, LS2 8HD

Email:  ldf@leeds.gov.uk