Residents of the Garnets in Beeston Hill pulled together this last weekend – with the help of supporters including Beeston in Bloom – to tidy up the green patch at the heart of their neighbourhood.
As reported previously in South Leeds Life, the empty space there – originally the site of homes demolished in 2012 – has been earmarked for a new housing development. However, a locally-led campaign has emerged in the past year, calling for a green communal area to be included in the new development.
The community action event this past weekend saw the volunteer team litter-pick the area, clear it of bricks, hoover up dog excrement (courtesy of a ‘poover’ lent by Armley Common Rights Trust!), and begin weeding and strimming it. The event also gave residents the opportunity to discuss the proposed scheme, drink a lot of tea together, dump large waste in a skip provided by the Council, and enjoy a shared bonfire on the Saturday night.
Local resident Angela Perry said:
“I’ve wanted to tidy up the space for a long time, but you’d feel foolish doing it alone – so it was great to work with others on it. There’s nothing like people rolling up their sleeves and getting their hands dirty together. Of course, the land might well get built on later in the year – but we can at least enjoy it as a nice community space this summer, and maybe longer.”
Short term plans for the space include children’s events, barbecues and bonfires, and the installation of some raised beds – made from the salvaged bricks. And the residents insist that they’ll continue to state their case for a shared green space to be included in the proposed development. (The latest info suggests that the scheme will go to planning panel in May, with work unlikely to start until the autumn at the earliest.)