Leeds City Council has announced it is ‘pausing’ the East of Otley hybrid planning application to build a new road and hundreds of houses on the outskirts of Otley.
Last spring and summer, a campaign led by East Of Otley Action Group and The ODD Campaign with support from Wildlife Friendly Otley, Otley 2030 and Otley Town Council resulted in close to 1000 objections being submitted on the Leeds City Council planning portal last summer.
A spokesperson for Otley 2030, said:
“We are aware that there will be a significant delay to a decision and take this news as a positive reaction to the fantastic public campaign facilitated by East of Otley Action Group, The ODD Campaign and Wildlife Friendly Otley, supported by Otley Town Council. We will be consulting with our membership and taking appropriate advice about how and when the application might be re-presented with a public consultation and a brand new application (rather than simply as a late decision). Given the close association of the three applications (East of Otley, Otley Rugby Club and McArthy Stone development) we will campaign for them to be brought back as linked applications.”
Wildlife Friendly Otley continues to campaign for local wildlife, their spokesperson, said, "The pause here shows what a shambles the original planning application was. We called for it to be withdrawn saying it was an unsustainable scheme that would devastate wildlife - it ignored the Otley Neighbourhood Plan and any concern for the local environment and wildlife. It even conflicted with Leeds City Council's own ambitions to tackle the climate emergency.
“We thank all the hundreds of Otley people who submitted objections. We hope that the developers and Leeds City Council use this time now to engage with the local community so when and if a new plan appears next year it reflects people's concerns and objections and with some serious measures to protect local wildlife”
Otley 2030 say that they will work to continue to keep a close eye on any activity in the proposed development area and will also develop alternative proposals for housing development in the SAP area. These plans will acknowledge and meet Leeds’ need for appropriately-priced and sustainable housing whilst also meeting those of the climate emergency and respecting the imperative for biodiversity regeneration and net gain.
“We also encourage the ward City Councillors and Town Council to make clear to the electorate before the local elections in May 2022 exactly what their position is in relation to these important planning applications” added the spokesperson.