Notice served on ancient Beeston cobbled path

Leeds City Council has given formal notice that it intends to divert the old cobbled path that runs along the side of the current Cockburn School site.

The diversion of this path was included in the planning permission of the new 3G pitches being built on some of the former South Leeds Golf Club land. However, the closure or diversion of footpaths is governed by separate legislation, which has resulted in the notice and the opportunity for the community to comment or object.

The school wants to divert the path so that the new school boundary including the new pitches can be secure to protect the children.

Objectors want to keep the path, which dates back to Victorian times at least, open as a level access route into Middleton Woods. They say that children could cross the path safely through gates between each part of the Cockburn site.

On its website, Leeds City Council says:

“Leeds City Council has made the Diversion Order because planning permission has been granted for development of a new 3G pitch and tennis courts and associated fencing up to 4.5 metres high for Cockburn School, on the former South Leeds Golf Course, (Planning Ref 22/01376/FU) which require the diversion of part of Leeds Public Footpath No. 207.

“Leeds City Council is satisfied that the Order complies with the following legal grounds and tests laid down in the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, Section 257, namely that the paths require diversion to allow the development to be carried out in accordance with planning permission and that alternative highways should be provided as replacements for the paths to be stopped up or diverted or that existing highways should be improved.”

A copy of the Order and map will be available to view at Beeston Community Hub & Library, Town Street, LS11 8PN until Wednesday 19 April.

Objections or representations must be made in writing (quoting reference 185298) by Wednesday 19 April 2023 to Legal Services, Civic Hall, Leeds, LS1 1UR, or emailed to If you wish to discuss your representation you can contact Charlotte Hamer in the Public Rights of Way Section on (0113) 378 8625 between 9am and 4pm, Mondays to Fridays inclusive (excluding bank holidays).

If any objections are made and not withdrawn, the Council will refer the Order to the Department of the Environment for a decision.

You can read the full Notice and Statement of Reasons here.


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6 Replies to “Notice served on ancient Beeston cobbled path”

  1. The absurdity of this is quite evident from the photo. Local people should oppose the closure of this route on the grounds that the pupils can enter the new facility via a secure gate under the supervision of the PE teachers. I’m sure staff can herd pupils through a gate safely, if following good practice and with appropriate training. Much better than the hysterics coming from the school to close the route. Whilst the stone setts on the footpath are likely 19th Century. The route itself is much older. It connects to Balkcliffe Lane or Monks Path that is on a 1700s map. It also connects to the right of way on the Links Housing Estate side that goes to the 15th Century Stank Hall site. In 2023 Leeds are celebrating a year of culture, celebrating all things ‘Leeds’ and getting people to enjoy local culture and history. It’s a shame the management of Cockburn School don’t understand the importance of local culture and wish to prevent people using this historic footpath into the Park.

    1. Well Suzy – It appears to me that all that is evident from the photograph is that there is a narrow, overgrown lane leading to nowhere in particular, used by very few people.
      It is Leeds City Council, Suzy, not the school that is proposing to move the footpath, and as you can read in the above article, the council is following the legal guidelines. However, let’s not stop that from giving us the opportunity for a good old moan yet again.
      I’m not sure what school “hysterics” you are referring to Suzy as most hysterics seem to occur in the pages of this journal in response to any action that the school is taking for the benefit of its pupils. Reach for the smelling salts, somebody!
      I’m pleased that Suzy is so very much in support of Leeds City of Culture, although she seems to be unaware of the excellent cultural achievements that are taking place under her nose. Rather than repeat them, I would direct Suzy to the article in this paper regarding Cockburn and its associated schools. South Leeds, Suzy, is fortunate indeed to have such excellent educational facilities, which can hold a candle to any in the city. It is a pity that some local residents (assuming that you are local, Suzy) don’t appreciate that fact.

      1. Back to School I’m afraid for Henry Wood to learn some basics about the Biodiversity Crisis, Climate Change and Geography. The lane is not ‘overgrown’ it’s a green corridor providing habitat for wildlife including the now red listed hedgehog. It’s popular with walkers. If Henry gets his map and compass out he will find it leads to a local nature reserve and ancient woodland – irreplaceable habitat. On his way down the ‘overgrown’ lane Henry can look to his left and wonder why the school built a new 47 space car park during a climate emergency and despite the school having a policy to encourage staff to travel less by car. He can then look to his right and see damage to a protected hedgerow bordering the footpath and wonder who could have done such a thing. He will be relieved to know it’s currently being investigated by the enforcement team at Leeds City Council. So we will know soon. I hope Henry will pause for contemplation on the little bridge over the stream and think about the School’s lack of understanding about plastic pollution and Urban Heat Islands. He can think about the ‘benefits’ children receive from playing on facilities comprised of used tyre waste. Finally over the weekend, after he has watered his plastic lawn, Henry can sit down and grapple with the concept of ‘Climate Emergency’. Perhaps David Attenborough is suffering from hysteria too as well as those pesky environmentalist people at COP-15 and COP-27.
        Schools are currently failing our children on Climate Education and in this sorry case the school is failing to lead by example. They are the driving force behind this plastic pitch development incorporating the footpath diversion.
        Two thirds of UK Secondary School teachers feel climate change is not taught in any meaningful way within their subject. I urge Henry to consider the phrase “Think Globally, Act Locally”
        Don’t get left behind Henry, this is no time for complacency.

        1. Suzy (does she have a full name, or is she just too shy to use it?) has addressed practically nothing that I said in my post regarding the footpath next to Cockburn, instead dragging in much extraneous material, involving climate change, ancient woodland and plastic lawns, not to mention hedgehogs and those “pesky environmentalist people” – not much appears to be missing from her all-embracing list of things of which I am, in her words, in need of contemplating. What she didn’t mention is that the footpath is not being closed but re-routed for part of its line.

          It came as a surprise to me then, that, having mentioned that a hedge has been damaged, and that as this has been reported to “the enforcement team at Leeds City Council”. (I assume she means the planning department) I will soon know who was responsible. Why should I in particular be interested? It is odd that she appears to know who was responsible already, from her coy comment. Was it you who did it Suzy? Do you have a hot line to the enforcement officers? Are they like the A Team?

          Schools have a great many things to teach and the assumption by people such as her that one more topic can be added, without something else suffering – something of importance such as Maths, Science or English – is as nonsensical as Suzy sitting naval gazing and musing about climate change on her own little plastic lawn. (See Suzy – I too can throw in a gratuitous insult).

          And yet again, in her post, full of information which has nothing to do with the re-routing of the footpath, she fails to realise or mention what is going on under her very nose (assuming that she is local) – that the children of south Leeds, rather than attending a failing and poorly staffed school, are able to access one of the finest educational institutions in the city. She should really be ashamed of herself and her narrow view which is as insulting as it is denigrating and ignorant of the work the schools of the Cockburn Multi Academy Trust carry out within the community..

          1. Last month the UK Sports bodies made a joint statement expressing their concern about this year’s EU ban on rubber crumb pitches and what it will mean for the stock of 3G pitches in the UK. They state that “it will be important to have a transition period because 3G AGPs are in widespread use by communities across Europe, were costly to put in place, and will be to remove.” The UK had agreed to follow EU regulations to maintain an industry standard. Given this statement Cockburn’s new pitch will be short lived. It’s an antiquated piece of polluting junk that belongs in the 1990s. I’m afraid the school has been ‘sold a pup’.

  2. 185298 I wish to let it be known that I very strongly object to your proposed alterations to path 207, this is once again our council not taking heed of the feelings of the residents.
    Keith Lawrence resident of Southleigh estate.

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