Leeds today: kirkstall festival, greenbelt development, recycling and co-ops.

A developer has won the right to build 300 homes on greenbelt in Drighlington, reports the Morley Observer. This is after the revelations that due to poor advice from the Local Government Minister Eric Pickles LCC has wasted £1m in legal fees, after planning rejections challenged in the courts were overturned. The article has a rather worrying codicil:

He [Morley South Cllr Tom Leady] added the fact planning permission has been granted does not mean the land on Whitehall Road will be built on soon. He said: “Developers are also under pressure from banks and if they have planning permission to build on land the value of that land goes up and they can show it as a bigger asset on the balance sheets. It won’t get any more houses built and it doesn’t help anyone to get a house.”

As Leeds is expected to build over 4000 homes a year to cope with demand – not that anybody can afford them, of course – and barely 2000 were built last year, this is a worrying observation.

The BBC says that Leeds residents are recycling more, with 40% of household waste being recycled, up by 3% on last year. LCC has set a target of half the city’s rubbish to be recycled by 2020.

The Guardian’s Northerner notes that “co-operative” has started being used more by politicians and businesses. BGL remembers a time when “co-op” was viewed as a loony leftie approach, but it seems that it is now an acceptable way of doing things. Richard Jones of Saddleworth News writes about two shops in the area that are working on a co-op model:

Green Valley Grocer is marking its second birthday this coming weekend. […] After raising an initial £15,000 from local people in just ten days the shop was soon able to begin trading, selling as much homegrown produce as possible. Turnover has increased by about 50% since then.

Long may it continue.

Exploring Leeds has been continuing the tour of closing libraries, even appearing on radio! The latest episode covers lots of libraries beginning with “S”, some of them which look like closure is sort-of understandable but at least one where the proposed closure beggars belief.

Over the weekend we’ve got some fantastic events coming up; on Sunday Cafe Scientifique is hosting a session at the Leeds Museum entitled “Archaeology and the science of digging things up”, beginning at 11:30. This is a free event and one that kids who are into Jurassic Park may well love, but should also appeal to adults! Also on Sunday the Leeds Savages sketching group will be meeting up to sketch things around Meanwood Valley Farm.

Saturday also sees some interesting I Love West Leeds events; a roving cinema with The Damned United and Mama Mia being shown in Armley and New Wortley, the human-powered shed in Bramley, and a heritage trail walk in Armley (which will, no doubt, mention hippos!).

The Garforth Arts Festival ends this weekend; the final day (and you can still get tickets for this!) sees Billy Bragg, Hugh Masekela and loads of other artists performing. Tickets on the door, details on the website.

The big event of the weekend, however, is the Kirkstall Festival. This is a huge event, last year attracting 15,000 visitors to the Abbey to take part in fairground things, a market, food, live music, a tea dance, displays from gymnasts and birds of prey, comedy and much more besides. This promises to be a great day out. If you’re in the area, this is where to go. It’s like what a fair used to be before trains were invented.

(BGL won’t be doing any of these; instead this weekend will be spent learning how to keep bees with the Leeds Beekeepers Association at Temple Newsam. Wish me luck!)

That’s it for this week: thanks to everybody who has emailed, tweeted or told me stories that they think need to be told. You can do the same; get in touch and tell us things! Have a great weekend, and we’ll see you on Monday.

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One Response to Leeds today: kirkstall festival, greenbelt development, recycling and co-ops.

  1. Pingback: Leeds today: Kirkstall, beer, housing, Huddersfield and crockery. | Beyond Guardian Leeds

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