Leeds City Council, the Leeds Local Education Partnership and Cockburn School have issued a consultation leaflet about the provision new outdoor sports facilities at the school on Gipsy Lane, Beeston.
As we first reported in June 2020, this is the second phase of work to create 210 extra places at the school to help meet the shortfall of high school places in South Leeds. Phase one consisted of a new block of classrooms and was completed in 2020.
Phase 2 consists of a full size 3G artificial sports pitch suitable for football and rugby and three tennis courts, to be built on land that formally part of the private South Leeds Golf Club. The golf club closed in 2019 and the majority of the land, which reverted to Leeds City Council’s ownership, was incorporated into Middleton Park.
The rationale for the new pitches is that tennis courts were lost to the new building and also to make up for a historic shortage of outdoor sports facilities at Cockburn School.
A number of mature trees will be removed as a result of building the pitches but three new trees will be replanted for each one lost in line with Leeds planning policies.
The plans (see below) include diverting a footpath and bridleway which runs along the current boundary of the school. The footpath, Leeds 207, is a historic right of way with heritage features – high quality stone sets or cobbles – and a permissive bridleway. The plans propose a new footpath would skirt the new pitches, whilst a new bridleway would be routed from the old golf house, further up Gipsy Lane.
Leeds Ramblers have previously objected to the development of Cockburn School damaging this footpath and Leeds Civic Trust suggested that the route could easily be preserved with gates in the school boundary to allow students to access the pitches.
Comments and questions are invited up until Monday 14 February, email to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Cockburn School, c/o Avison Young, 6th Floor, 1 City Square, Leeds, LS1 2AL. You can also view the proposals on the Cockburn School website here.
A full planning application is planned to be submitted later in February. Residents will be able to comment or object to the planning application in the normal way.
Main image: drawing showing how the pitches might look from the diverted footpath