Councillors to debate Cockburn sports pitches

The controversial planning application to build new sports pitches on land that formerly part of South Leeds Golf Club will be debated by Councillors on the South & West Plans Panel on Thursday (7 July 2022).

The application has been referred to the panel by Cllr Sharon Burke (Labour, Middleton Park) after a large number of objections were received. In total 201 comments were received of which 48 were objections.

As previously reported on South Leeds Life, the Cockburn School’s application arises as a result of creating extra school places in response to the shortage of secondary school places in South Leeds. As a result the school has only 64.5% of the Department for Education required play space for a school of its size.

Objectors have raised a range of concerns including loss of mature trees, concerns of the impact on the nearby ancient woodland ecosystem, the closing of a historic bridleway and the use of microplastics in the synthetic pitch.

Councillors are being asked for their opinions on the application to form a Position Statement, but not to determine (grant or refuse) the application.

Councillors will be asked to comment on the following planning issues:

  • Is the development appropriate on green belt land and if not if there are overriding benefits that mean it should go ahead?
  • Whether to consider the application without a needs assessment for the golf course as Sport England suggest?
  • Tree loss and mitigation measures
  • Impact on local ecology and biodiversity
  • Design and visual impact
  • Impact on local residents
  • Highways issues

You can read the full report to the Panel here.


3 Replies to “Councillors to debate Cockburn sports pitches”

  1. The area (now part of middleton park) they are planning to build on is beautiful and used all day by members of the public, adults and children out walking, accessing the woods. The school already has a huge sports field which I’m sure could be utilised more effectively.

    With the current climate crisis why does the council think it’s acceptable to tear up green belt to lay a plastic pitch? It seems very backwards.

    Instead of giving the school our park land, give them funding to improve their current facilities.

  2. The so called planning visit today was a joke. Panel walked at most 10 metres onto the land. Despite it all being taped off to show the full extent of the development this wasn’t fully visible from the point they walked to. Some of the lady members came to site in skirts and high heels and as such didn’t want to walk through long grass. Thank you to members of the community that could show up and voice their concerns. We asked the panel to go to the middle of the site and sit and absorb the peacefulness of the area. They didn’t seem to care. We pointed out the slopes to get to similar Meadowland but I fear it all fell on deaf ears.

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