Community sports fight housing development plans in LS6

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The future purpose of a site in LS6 is in dispute, with LS6 Community Sports – which sees a desperate need for a sports field – fighting against plans for housing developments.

On the website of LS6 Community Sports, they suggest that “Leeds City Council Plans department gave permission for the site to be developed as housing based on legal advice that they might have been taken to court by the developers if they refused.”

They believe that the need for the sports field is huge as LS6 has no publicly accessible sports pitches in Hyde Park, five of the local primary schools in LS6 have limited space for sport and two have no grass areas for children to play and that there is a lack of support for the planning applications.

In 2008, over 1200 people from the area have signed a petition saying that the facilities here should be kept for school and community usage.

After a public enquiry last Wednesday, the inspector is yet to come to a decision on the matter.

One developer wants to build a student village on the field, arguing that the site would be publically accessible which would allow people to integrate with the students.

John Davison, who is working hard to ensure that the area is not developed into anything other than a community sports centre, states that “A community sports centre would be vital because the area doesn’t have anything by way of official sports pitches and so has very few sports clubs the public can access.

“As someone who works with young people for free on concrete facilities I see that there are aspirations from young people and parents for facilities that could host sports clubs and increase young people’s opportunities for sport and there are legal requirements for council to facilitate these things.

“The problem has always been money and space. We can see the space, so we need to try to collect some money to assist councils who won’t pay for this land on their own.”

Polly Hatcher


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