Leeds today: Occupy, housing, HS2, Asda, golf, and the promise of 2012!

A happy and healthy new year to all, from Mark (@mw_obrien) here today. One week of 2012 almost down; fifty-one exhilarating, mesmerising weeks to go I hope.

Leading the BBC as we head into the weekend is the news that the tempestuous weather witnessed across the region in recent days has forced organisers of the Occupy Leeds protest at City Square to close the camp. The movement aims to highlight inequality and corporate greed, and promote local identity and direct democracy; organisers in Leeds intend now to concentrate their resources on alternative tactics.

Meanwhile, Leeds City Council has announced it will make a formal objection to the plans of Bradford councillors to approve nearly 1,000 new homes in the Menston area. Leeds councillors are concerned with the potential impact of development on the greenbelt and on levels of traffic congestion.

The Guardian has the latest on plans for High Speed Two, as trade union leaders give their backing to the government in its ambitious plans for a £32bn high speed rail network linking London to Birmingham, and eventually to Manchester and Leeds with trains running at up to 250mph. An announcement on the future of the project is expected from Transport Secretary Justine Greening as early as next week.

Residents of Beeston met last night, high on their agenda Asda’s proposals to demolish their existing store on Old Lane and to build a new store in its place. South Leeds Life was blogging live from the meeting.

It may not quite be appropriate weather for the fairway at the moment, but Leeds City Council has news of special offers on golf course season tickets at Roundhay Park, Middleton Park, Gotts Park and Temple Newsam.

But happily it’s not only Sunday afternoon golf outings we have to look forward to here in Leeds this year. Rod McPhee in the YEP has written about the promise of the year ahead for the city, with growth in our local transport infrastructure, continuing developments at the Trinity shopping centre and the Leeds Arena, as well as the Olympics.

Meanwhile Isobel of CultureLeeds has shared the 12 things she is looking forward to in Leeds in 2012, including the exciting bill of fare on offer at the Playhouse (Waiting for Godot a must-see), the return of old favourites in the calendar such as Light Night and Heritage Open Days, and a summer which sees the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic torch come to town. And there we were, hoping for a bit of quiet time after a hectic 2011!

I say let’s make the most of it and seize the promise whilst the year is young and hopes are high.

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