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We recognise the need for some more homes for individuals and families - truly affordable and built in a way that is ‘sustainable’ in all the identities of that word, both across Leeds and in Otley. We are, though, completely opposed to the proposed development (21/01671/OT) as described in the planning application because:

  • The application pays no heed to the democratically-agreed Otley Neighbourhood Plan (ONP), in that it (amongst other issues) outlines 700 homes rather than 550 and extends over 57 hectares rather than 50, and ignores the building design stipulations in the ONP

  • It makes absolutely no commitment to building truly affordable homes and makes no provision for community self-build homes

  • It completely ignores the climate crisis declared by both Leeds City Council and Otley Town Council subsequent to the ONP

  • The carbon emissions from both the building and, more significantly, the poor design of the proposed houses and their heating systems are unacceptable, given that it is best practice to build carbon neutral homes

  • The plans outline a very significant (47%) net loss of biodiversity (rather than the 10% gain which will soon become a requirement) with NO mitigating factors of any kind outlined

  • The loss of important wildlife habitat is significant and irreplaceable and again without the smallest mitigating factors

  • The original case for the East of Otley Relief Road is outdated and has been overtaken by events such that it is not needed

  • The Traffic Impact Assessment is inadequate and simply incorrect and ignores the effect of the projected additional 1,650 vehicles that residents of 700 homes will own and drive; as well as the potential 100,000 gravel lorry journeys which would result from an expected gravel quarry to the east of the development at Midgeley Farm

  • There is no suggestion of how a 10% to 20% increase in the population of Otley (on top of that coming from Rumplecroft and Garnett's) will be accommodated in terms of amenities in the town (high school places, provision of health and dentistry for example)

  • The extension of the site east of the outline of the SAP (and significantly into designated Green Belt) is unacceptable, especially when considered alongside the simultaneous application from Otley Rugby Club and McCarthy Stone (retirement complex).

  • The consultation with the Otley public and residents has been derisory, highly unsatisfactory and even then completely ignores and/or distorts the views expressed in that consultation

We therefore ask all residents, community groups, democratic representatives and businesses in and of Otley to object in the strongest terms to the application 21/01671/OT. IF that application is withdrawn or declined and there is a subsequent amended application, we will review it within the same framework of the Otley Neighbourhood Plan, as well as the climate and biodiversity emergency and in consultation with the Otley community, when that time comes.

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