As mentioned in this month’s Councillors’ Briefing, a consultation has begun on how to use the land that was formally South Leeds Golf Club and has now been incorporated into Middleton Park.
Discussions have been going on between ward Councillors in Middleton Park and Beeston & Holbeck wards; the Friends of Middleton Park, Cycle Pathways CIC who run the Leeds Urban Bike Park and the Leeds Hospital Charity about a range of uses for the land. From those discussions a draft plan has been drawn up which is now being consulted on.
The plans fall into three main areas:
Plans for the Covid Memorial Woodland would use an area of 4.4 hectares (about one tenth of the SLGC land) close to the Park Woods estate. The woodland area will have a refurbished circular path as well as more informal mown pathways. As well as tree planting the area could include a sculpture and ponds in a wetland area.
The land will be leased to the charity from the council. Leeds Hospitals Charity will pay for the works through fundraising and gifts in kind from surrounding organisations. Leeds City Council will be supporting the scheme through the consultation period, and overseeing the development of the site, tree planting and ongoing maintenance.
Cycle Pathways CIC are taking over the former clubhouse and have plans for it to be at the centre of an education and activity zone. The zone would be a similar size to the Covid Memorial Woodland and lie between Gipsy Lane and the Ring Road above The Links estate. The zone would offer activities such as climbing, cycling, ropeways, Forest school for under 5s, nature trails and natural play areas, it aims to:
“To give young people from South Leeds and their families challenges and the ability to gain confidence through learning new skills, not normally readily available in the area.”
The remaining land would see refurbished paths, new tree planting and rewilding schemes. Five small, 15-20 space car parks will be built, subject to planning permission, off the Ring Road to accommodate visitors.
To support the public consultation, three drop-in events will be held in south Leeds, starting from this Saturday at the following venues:
Saturday 7 August – 11am – 3pm – Middleton Park Visitor Centre.
Saturday 14 August – 11am – 3pm – Leeds Urban Bike Park.
Monday 16 August – 4pm – 6.30pm – Leeds Urban Bike Park and lower South Leeds Golf Course site.
Representatives of Leeds City Council, Leeds Urban Bike Park and The Friends of Middleton Park will be available to hear your views and answer questions. Anyone unable to attend can also make their views known via an online survey at: surveys.leeds.gov.uk/
You can view three large scale plans showing the proposals on these links:
Councillor Salma Arif, Leeds City Council’s executive member for public health and active lifestyles said:
“We’ve worked hard to ensure that the initial proposals we’ve put forward for the former South Leeds Golf Course site offer something that is positive and meaningful to visitors in an environment that will also offer a range of green benefits. Also included and a major part of the project is the proposal for a new memorial woodland where loved ones can gather, reflect and remember those who have sadly died due to Covid-19.
“We really want to hear what the people of Leeds think, which is why we have arranged a number of drop-in events from this weekend. The thoughts of residents are extremely important to us and anyone contributing can be assured every comment will be considered carefully before any final decisions are made.”
Middleton Park Ward Councillors Kim Groves, Sharon Burke and Paul Truswell said:
“We urge everyone to get involved in shaping the area for this and future generations by attending one of the drop-in events or completing the online survey. It is important that local people put forward their ideas for future uses of this extended area of the park.
“We would also welcome their views on proposals that have already been suggested by the Leeds Urban Bike Park and the Friends of Middleton Park. The drop-ins and online survey will have visual materials showing the site and the possibilities.
“We are also keen to hear local people’s views on the proposal from the Leeds Hospital Charity for a fitting memorial to those people who sadly lost their lives during the pandemic, and to the heroic ongoing effort of frontline workers.”