Susan and Wendy kindly hosted the latest NCS meeting on 23 May, attended by eight residents plus PCSO Rob Southwood from the Neighbourhood Policing Team. Here is a brief summary of the topics covered.
PCSO Southwood gave an update on crime and anti-social behaviour in Newlay. A small number of burglaries had occurred, the majority of these being forced entry to sheds and garages. There had been one incident of a mugging and bag theft by the Tesco ATM earlier in the year, for which the perpetrators had since been apprehended. Care was advised for anyone using ATMs, particularly about putting cash away securely and ensuring no-one is crowding you as you use the machine.
A member pointed out there’d been a recent incident of graffiti along the Cuckoo Steps, although this had not been reported to the police as it was felt too trivial a matter. PCSO Southwood stressed the importance of reporting ALL incidents of crime or anti-social behaviour, as often a seemingly unimportant incident can be connected to other crimes or criminals in the area. Non-emergency incidents can be reported by calling 101 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
PCSO Southwood urged that instances of suspicious or anti-social behaviour on the Bramley side of Newlay Bridge continue to be reported (including descriptions and vehicle details if possible), ensuring that the location is given as ‘Pollard Lane, LS13’ to ensure incidents can be assimilated correctly and patterns observed. He also asked people to keep notifying him of the registration numbers of motorcyclists who persist in flouting the Motor Vehicles Prohibited rule, and advised that several riders – to their surprise – had been spoken to as a result.
Finally, PCSO Southwood reported there had been a number of initiatives around local schools to tackle inconsiderate or illegal parking, in partnership with LCC’s enforcement officers and warned that anyone caught parking on double-yellow lines or a dropped kerb can expect a ticket.
Planning & Development
An update was given on various matters outside the Conservation Area boundary including Horsforth Campus, the recent Site Allocations process, Horsforth Neighbourhood Plan and the Airport Road or Rail Link. Please contact Martin Hughes if you require the detail of these plans.
Local Planning Applications
There have been no new formal planning applications lodged with Leeds City Council affecting properties within the Conservation Area boundary. There was speculation about a future application, however unless or until this crystallises into a formal submission there is nothing that can be said or done.
The meeting was reminded that all planning applications within the Newlay Conservation Area boundary are subject to particular scrutiny to ensure local character is preserved. This also means mature trees are subject to Tree Preservation Orders and cannot be removed or lopped without obtaining formal permission from LCC. Anyone contravening this risks prosecution and £20,000 fine.
Residents were asked to stay alert for any unauthorised attempts at tree removal where the landowner may be of the mind that ‘it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission’.
Updates were given on a number of ongoing local issues:
River Aire: Attempts to engage with the Environment Agency regarding the clear-up of the riverbank following the winter floods are proving difficult, however we continue to persist.
Newlay Wood Road: Issues with the culvert and water run-off at the junction with Newlay Lane continue. What was thought to be a proposed solution has been complicated by the discovery of a sewage leak further up the road.
Newlay Bridge: Funding cuts and a number of personnel changes at Leeds City Council have created delays in getting the bridge repainted and necessary repairs completed. The Council will be reminded that the Conservation Society is working towards holding an event to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Newlay Bridge in 2019.
Kirkstall Forge Station
The meeting was informed that the latest opening date had been quoted – by our local MP no less – as now being mid-June. The delay in constructing the access road and car park is attributed in part to the floods, but mainly due to the discovery of contamination on the land that had to be removed. We will see how accurate this latest prediction is…
A number of members expressed concern at the lack of lighting along the new footpath to the station (past Hunters Greave), and the potential for parking problems once the station is open – although it was pointed out that the distance to the station from Pollard Lane is further than people think and may not be attractive as a ‘park & ride’ option.
It remains to be seen what – if any – issues this new and long-awaited amenity will create for the neighbourhood, but our neighbours at NAWRA share similar concerns and it was agreed this offers the opportunity to join forces for a louder voice, if need be.
As was widely known, there was a marked increase in fly-tipping near Brigg Flatt Wood in the early part of the year. The police and Leeds City Council have both been involved in tracing the culprits from tell-tale items and documents found in the waste, and it’s pleasing to report that a number of individuals have subsequently been interviewed under Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) caution. Whilst a number of culprits were found to be relatively local, others were traced as far away as Dewsbury.
There have been no further incidents of fly-tipping since, so perhaps word has got around the criminal community that it’s something that’s taken seriously in Leeds, and that if you do it you WILL be caught and prosecuted.
Newlay Conservation Society is represented on Facebook – and or course, the website you’re reading right now. The Facebook site currently has 130 ‘Likes’ and typically attracts 60-70 views per post, while this website has had almost 500 views in 2016 to date.
Not quite what you’d call going viral, but clear evidence that social media plays an important role in reaching out and generating interest in Newlay Conservation Society. Please spread the word.
The next meeting will take place on Monday 22 August 2016, venue to be confirmed.
If you have any queries or need any further information, please Contact Us or leave a Comment below.