On Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 March, the residents of the Garnets in Beeston will be working together to clean-up the large green space where the council plan to build new houses with private gardens.
The Garnets used to be claustrophobic rows of terraced back to back houses until a few years ago when the council demolished the two middle rows of terraces, creating a space that feels like a village green which should be an oasis from the busy streets that surround the Garnets. Sadly, this is not the case. After years of discussion with the residents about possible uses for the green space, the council have not acted and have let the area become overgrown, collecting rubbish and becoming effectively a dog toilet.
By cleaning up this green space we hope that it will become a place which can fulfil many of the needs of the residents, and create a sense of pride in the area. It could be a community garden, allotments, meeting space, playground and much more. In its current state, many people may find all this hard to imagine, but once the rubbish and dog mess has been removed and the grass cut we know that the area will be a place that the residents will miss if it is taken away from them.
In the time between the original homes being demolished and today, the surrounding green spaces have been swallowed up by other developments like a new Aldi supermarket. Other sites like the playground have been fenced off and made inaccessible, reducing public space to tarmacked streets and pavements. Now that the council have announced their intention to build new houses with private gardens on this land it has become clear how much this area is needed and should be valued by the residents.
Once cleaned up, the residents will be able to use the space and a conversation with the council can begin about how much of it should be used for building new houses and how much should remain green. This will be beneficial for the people who currently live here and for those who will be moving into the new homes once they are completed.
We feel that it is extremely important that this space remain at least partially green to give the people who live here space which is not a road, a private residence or a commercial shop. Building more houses will make this area feel extremely claustrophobic as the residents currently have little room to breath and adding 25 new families to an area with no green space may have serious repercussions on the physical and mental health of the people in the Garnets and surrounding area.
Residents were given an opportunity to view plans for the development in January, where many raised their concerns of the lack of communal space and the overcrowding that the influx of new homes would cause. Whether this feedback has been taken on board remains to be seen. As building is pencilled in for May this year, it is important that action be taken as soon as possible to keep this green space – actually using it positively, instead of just dumping things there.
Garnets Clean-Up Weekend
Saturday 14 & Sunday 15 March, 10am–5pm each day at Garnet Terrace, Beeston, LS11
For more information about the event please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This post was written by Toby Lloyd using our Create an article for South Leeds Life page.