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Yorkshire Greenspace Alliance formed to protect the county’s countryside and parks

10 October 2013

Baildon Moor, Bradford. West Yorkshire's Green Belts are under threat Baildon Moor, Bradford. West Yorkshire's Green Belts are under threat © Adrian Lindsay/Shutterstock

Yorkshire Greenspace Alliance (YGA) is the brainchild of representatives from the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), Wharfedale & Airedale Review Development (WARD) and Kirklees Community Action Network (KCAN). Over 40 interested individuals attended the YGA’s recent inaugural meeting in Rawdon, including several community groups and councillors from across the county.

YGA co-founder Charles Tunbridge, of CPRE West Yorkshire, said:

‘The new alliance is not intended to cancel out existing groups concerned about the loss of greenspace across the county. We want to garner support for co-ordinated action to protect Green Belt and greenfield sites from the predatory actions of developers.’

As a starting point, the Alliance has adopted as their aims, the key demands of CPRE’s recently launched “Save Our Countryside” Charter:

  • To protect countryside and open green space by re-using previously-developed (brownfield) sites first;
  • to give local communities a fair say in the future of their area; and
  • to encourage more affordable housing in the right places.

CPRE’s Charter was recently backed in a letter to The Sunday Times by the nation’s leading writers and artists (2) including notable Yorkshire residents, poet Simon Armitage and author Marina Lewycka, who commented:

‘The countryside is like the lungs and cities are the heart. We need to both to keep alive, but we need to keep them separate. The worst thing is to let the city seep into the countryside, while allowing areas of our cities to become wasteland for growing weeds.’

Charles Tunbridge continued: ‘We’ve taken this important step to create a pan-Yorkshire alliance because we strongly believe that by working together - sharing knowledge, expertise and resources - we will collectively have a much stronger influence on planning issues at a local level. We hope that other Groups, who share our aims, will also be inspired to join us.’

Before creating the Alliance, the groups had held a major conference in May to draw attention to the 28,500 empty homes and 37,500 plots with planning permission in Leeds and Bradford, calling on these to be used as an alternative to building on Green Belts and open countryside. CPRE's latest research has found that Yorkshire's Green Belts are under threat from plans for over 46,000 new homes and almost 250 hectares of business developments.  

A new website is presently being set up and any parties interested in supporting the Yorkshire Greenspace Alliance should contact either David Ingham at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Robert Bamforth, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

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