Twelve years ago, the Planning Department was saying there was “gross deficiency in playing pitch provision” in our area . . .

In a now highly embarassing note dated the 11th February 1998, made in connection with the university’s objections to the inclusion of the former Grammar School cricket pitch within the UDP as an N6 Protected Playing Pitch, the Planning Dept commented as follows : :

The council responded to these objections, considering that there was a gross deficiency in playing pitch provision, particularly in some inner city areas, including University Ward.

Policy N6  seeks to protect playing pitches from development unless particular exceptions apply.  The first of these (N6i) allows for overall pitch quality and provision to be upgraded though part development or relocation.  N6ii allows development if there is no shortage of pitches, locally, and city-wide, and the land is not required for additional greenspace.

Subsequent to these comments being made, a deal was done between the council and the university which allowed the university to build on the Protected Playing Pitch, in exchange for a cash payment of £255,000 intended to establish replacement facilities on Woodhouse Moor.

The Planning Department note acknowledges that development is only permissible if there is no shortage of pitches locally.  And yet, the result of the arrangement with university was that this area ended up with even less playing pitch provision than it had before. That there is currently a gross deficiency in playing pitch provision in this area is proven by the fact that none of the local schools comply with the School Premises Regulations 1999 in terms of playing pitch provision. In order to make these schools comply with the regulations, the council would have to acquire all three of the available Leeds Girls High Protected Playing Pitches. This could easily be done, for as Protected Playing Pitches, the land is worth no more than £15,000.

References

Note from Plans West dated 11 February 1998
The School Premises Regulations 1999

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