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 weekend’s activities will be an opportunity for local residents to get together, discuss the council’s plans and think about actions for alternative uses for the green space.
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.
8 Replies to “Garnets Clean-Up Weekend”
Waste of time…..
A lot of people we’ve spoken to in the Garnet’s would not agree.
We’d be interested to hear from you and find out why you feel like this.
Drop in over the weekend for a chat.
Tidying up land before the council build on it?, as I have said a waste of time. And shouldn’t the council be doing this?
I think you’re doing a fantastic job and your proposal looks good having a green space in front of your house where you can see your kids playing
and I think Garnets does need green space
looking at the plans what you’re proposing is a good idea
there is nothing like a community spirit having an outdoor space in between really built up area
This is an extremely difficult one to make a judgment call on as to what’s best green space vs family homes. On the one hand there is the chronic lack of green space for locals who have to travel an inconvenient distance to get some. On the other hand there is also massive lack of family housing that’s affordable.
From the council’s point of view I’d see why they have opted for the homes. The waiting list for housing is massive and getting bigger as the city grows and the process of bring back into use the empty properties across the area and city is slow, as either owners don’t want to do so themselves or where the council is starting to buy these properties back they are having to do so slowly due to their market value.
Green space is of course hugely positive in terms of wellbeing and I know there is growing calls for the area being used as a car park next to The Tetley near Leeds Dock to be used as a mix of a small urban park and family homes for the same reason.
My heart is with the locals but I’d have to side with the council on this.
My heart is with the locals on the need of green space but I have to side with the council on this. Not having a home has a greater mental and physical impact on someone’s health than not having green space and those 25 homes are dearly needed. It’s a shame but it’s in my view, the right call.
Hi Paul, the local residents are best placed to respond. (I live very nearby, and am mates with several of them, but am not actually on the Garnets.) But in short, most of the residents there who I’ve spoken with accept the need for housing, including this particular development – but are arguing for the inclusion of a good green space within the development. One of them has even submitted a measured-out proposal for exactly the same number of houses, but configured differently so as to leave enough space for a green space too. That strikes me as very reasonable and positive, and I hope they get it… Also, about the Tetley site, that was earmarked as a park years ago after the (latest) housing market crash – but it seems clear that the authorities are now backtracking on that – because the housing market is on the rise again, and the monetary value of selling land for housing will always outgun the intangible value of community green space. As you say, these are tricky issues to balance – but let’s hope we can find some positive (ish) compromise solutions…
Who will get these homes they plan to build – non rent payers? People who have never put in the pot? I wish someone would do something about the private landlords in the area who are making decent people’s lives a misery. I personally am having to live next door to a yard full of dog mess, before that it was a brothel!!!! Prosecute the landlords then they maybe be a bit more choosy and give any new houses to people who will be paying full rent and council tax.
Hi Judith. The current residents on the Garnets are actually concerned (rightly or wrongly) that the opposite is true! That is, they feel low-income people were pushed out of the community when the old houses were demolished – whilst the proposed inclusion of car-parking spaces for every house in this development suggests that maybe they’re actually looking to attract quite well-to-do tenants. I think they call it ‘gentrification’? Time will tell. And about landlords, YES – couldn’t agree more. I’m guessing by your log-in name that you’re on Tempest Road – I’m very nearby on the Harlechs. We desperately need to better regulate the negligent landlords around here, who get away with murder – and make pretty good money on it. And ideally put a halt on houses being forever turned into bedsits etc – we need more family housing around here. And I’d add finally that it’s surely good that we live in a society with safety nets and social security – life can be unpredictable, and quite a lot of good people I know are out of work at the moment through no fault of their own. And all the while, we can help create good community whether or not people are in work. There are some great people in my neighbourhood who aren’t in work, but are a really positive influence in other ways. Paying rents and Council Tax is one way to contribute, but surely not the only way. So, anyway, maybe we’ll get to meet sometime, and plot the revolution together! Cheers.
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