Letters special: Save Wrenthorpe green belt land from housing plans

Residents in Wrenthorpe are worried about the prospect of housebuilding on several greenfield sites around the village, including Jerry Clay Lane.
Residents in Wrenthorpe are worried about the prospect of housebuilding on several greenfield sites around the village, including Jerry Clay Lane.

Caroline Tompkins, Cricketers Approach, Wrenthorpe

I am writing to express my deep concern regarding the planned housing developments and release of green belt land in Wrenthorpe village.

I am hoping people will be supporting the village residents with our opposition of the above plans, via our Wrenthorpe Community Association.

I moved into Wrenthorpe, from Leeds, nearly 14 years ago, 8 1/2 months pregnant and loved the village character and green spaces. The streets were safe for our forthcoming children and we bought a house on Cricketers Approach, as it was a quiet street which overlooked farmland.

There have been previous attempts to build on the land behind our house before and we managed to stop the developments in the past, led by our then MP Ed Balls. These issues and reasons behind the opposition to building at the top of Trough Well Lane, behind our road still stand;

The land is part of the historic ‘rhubarb triangle’ and is used to grow rhubarb, with our region being keen to develop Wakefield as a heritage site.

The site has historic and archaeological significance, with Roman and Viking remains being found there.

The planned building would destroy hedgerows and wildlife around Trough Well Lane and the end of our cul-de-sac.

Trough Well Lane is used by local dog walkers, joggers and walkers and, if the building plans went though, would need to be developed into a main road.

The ginnel at the end of our cul-de-sac is a roosting place for bats, a protected species.

The building development would have a significant impact on the value of nearby existing houses.

The planned building of 200 houses would be noisy, dirty and a local eyesore.

The development would overlook our gardens and into our houses, creating a loss of privacy.

Our village has one narrow main road though it, and does not have the transport systems to support this and the other developments. It is already at crisis point. This would lead to congestion in the whole village, with increase in traffic fumes and danger on the roads.

The green belt land behind us is agricultural land and is contaminated with agricultural chemicals.

Our village has two over-subscribed small primary schools, one medical centre in Outwood, (our local surgery has recently closed) and does not have the infrastructure to support the possible expanding population.

Our village is prone to flooding, with heavy rain breaking the banks of the village beck, flooding nearby houses, and our road receives dangerously high levels of run off from the land behind flowing into our garden. Reducing farm land would increase surface run off and the building works would add to our flooding risk in the village.

With the planned 11-12 building proposals to release green belt land (including ours and many more in the village around Jerry Clay Lane), there would be a significant loss of green space, affecting the local environment and character of our historic village.

The vast majority of our local residents are opposed to the plans and urge the council to consider building on the brown belt areas of Wakefield instead. Once we lose our Green Belt land and destroy the nature of our local village and its surrounding environment, the damage will be irreplaceable.

I urge people to join the Wrenthorpe Warriors to save our Green Belt!

Hands off our village

Joanne Birkitt, via email

I am one of the residents whose house was flooded back in 2007 in Wrenthorpe.

We had £26,000 of damage and our house wasn’t repaired and finished for 18 months. A lot of the problems were caused by the extremely old drainage on Jerry Clay Lane. The drainage is that old it couldn’t cope and burst, flooding our homes with the contamination of the becks too.

If Jerry Clay Lane was to have more proposed building on, how is this going to impact us? After years, we’ve only just managed to get flood insurance which has been inflated in price. There are issues of the already dangerous parking problems down Jerry Clay Lane we endure during dropping off and picking up times at the school.

This is a village that is bursting already: schools, doctors surgeries and public services. Hands off our village - leave our precious green belt land.

Appalled about destruction of village greenbelt

Amanda Sellars, Wrenthorpe

As a resident of Wrenthorpe I am appalled and extremely concerned about the proposed development of more than 1,000 houses on greenbelt land in Wrenthorpe.

In 2012 the previous development plans were quashed by the independent planning inspector and a defensible line put in place to protect the greenbelt and the ever decreasing heritage of Wakefield’s rhubarb triangle.

Now in 2018 there has been interest by developers to build more than 1,000 properties in this area marked out for protection.

The quiet village of Wrenthorpe and its already over-subscribed services can not sustain such developments.

The council has to look at what is right morally, for the enviroment and for the wellbeing of the residents of Wrenthorpe.There is brown field land near the new bypass with access already in place, this is surely a better alternative?

The community of Wrenthorpe was out in vast numbers on Friday, June 15 to express their anger and extreme concern about these proposals and a village meeting was held. Wrenthorpe will fight as one to get the council to do what is right and reject these proposals.

I know, as our local paper, you will report on our progress and highlight the totally unnecessary development of housing in greenbelt areas which is driven purely by profit.