Scarcroft Village Leeds
Scarcroft Village Leeds
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Scarcroft Development Working Group

Annual Report






  1. Introduction
  2. What is a Neighbourhood Plan?
  3. Neighbourhood Plan Area Designation
  4. Village History
  5. Consultation/Communication
  6. Sustainable community
  7. Development site appraisal
  8. Sites of historic interest/protection
  9. Neighbourhood Plan policies and guidance
  10. Improved Community Services





Appendix 1 – SWOT analysis

Appendix 2 – Questionnaire

1. Introduction


The Scarcroft Village Development Working Group first annual report provides a summary of the key actions taken in 2012 to develop a Neighbourhood Plan for our village. It details the lead members of the community who have supported the initial development of the plan and progress to date.


Further details on the work are available from the Development Group which can be accessed using the village website



2. What is a Neighbourhood Plan?


Lead Community member: Breeda Murray – prepared for the Web site to explain to residents what the Plan was about.


Neighbourhood planning is a new way for communities to decide the future of the places where they live and work.


They will be able to: 

  • choose where they want new homes, shops and offices to be built
  • have their say on what those new buildings should look like
    • grant planning permission for the new buildings they want to see go ahead.

 When in November 2011 the Localism Bill was passed it gave Neighbourhoods the chance to look at their area and say how they hoped it would develop over the next 15+ years.


 Why does it matter?


The planning system helps decide what gets built, where and when. It is essential for supporting economic growth, improving people’s quality of life, and protecting the natural environment.


In theory, planning has always supposed to give local communities a say in decisions that affect them. But in practice, communities have often found it hard to have a meaningful say. The Government wants to put power back in the hands of local residents, business, councils and civic leaders by using a Neighbourhood Plan


Neighbourhood planning is optional, not compulsory. In Scarcroft we have a group of residents who are working to produce a plan because we feel as residents of the village we would like to have a say in its future.


How will it work?


There will be five key stages to neighbourhood planning.


Stage 1: Defining the neighbourhood


In areas with a parish or town council, the parish or town council will take the lead on neighbourhood planning. Scarcroft Parish council have asked the Development Group to take the lead in developing a Neighbourhood Plan by residents for residents.


The Parish council will then need to apply to the local planning authority. It’s the local planning authority’s job to keep an overview of all the different requests to do neighbourhood planning in their area.


They will check that the suggested boundaries for different neighbourhoods make sense and fit together. It is important therefore neighbourhoods work together with areas and boundaries that may ‘overlap’.


They will also check that community groups who want to take the lead on neighbourhood planning meet the right standards. The planning authority will say “no” if, for example, the organisation is too small or not representative enough of the local community.


If the local planning authority decides that the community group meets the right standards, the group will be able to call itself a ‘neighbourhood forum’. (This is simply the technical term for groups which have been granted the legal power to do neighbourhood planning.)


The parish council or neighbourhood forum can then get going and start planning for their neighbourhood.


Stage 2: Preparing the plan (this is the stage we are at now)


Next, local people will begin collecting their ideas together and drawing up their plans.


With a neighbourhood plan, communities will be able to establish general planning policies for the development and use of land in a neighbourhood. They will be able to say, for example, where new homes and offices should be built, and what they should look like. The neighbourhood plan will set a vision for the future. It can be detailed, or general, depending on what local people want


Neighbourhood plans must follow some ground rules:

  • They must generally be in line with local and national planning policies
  • They must be in line with other laws
    • If the local planning authority says that an area needs to grow, then communities cannot use neighbourhood planning to block the building of new homes and businesses. They can, however, use neighbourhood planning to influence the type, design, location and mix of new development.

Stage 3: Independent check


Once a neighbourhood plan or order has been prepared, an independent examiner will check that it meets the right basic standards.


If the plan or order doesn’t meet the right standards, the examiner will recommend changes. The planning authority will then need to consider the examiner’s views and decide whether to make those changes.


If the examiner recommends significant changes, then the parish, town council or neighbourhood forum may decide to consult the local community again before proceeding.


Stage 4: Community referendum


The local council will organise a referendum on any plan or order that meets the basic standards. This ensures that the community has the final say on whether a neighbourhood plan or order comes into force.


People living in the neighbourhood who are registered to vote in local elections will be entitled to vote in the referendum.


In some special cases - where, for example, the proposals put forward in a plan for one neighbourhood have significant implications for other people nearby - people from other neighbourhoods may be allowed to vote too.


If more than 50 per cent of people voting in the referendum support the plan or order, then the local planning authority must bring it into force.


Stage 5: Legal force


Once a neighbourhood plan is in force, it carries real legal weight. Decision-makers will be obliged, by law, to take what it says into account when they consider proposals for development in the neighbourhood.


A neighbourhood order will grant planning permission for development that complies with the order. Where people have made clear that they want development of a particular type, it will be easier for that development to go ahead.



3. Neighbourhood Plan Area Designation


Lead Community members: Cllr Paddy Procter and Cllr Ruth Middleton


Scarcroft Parish Council submitted their intention to develop a Neighbourhood Plan to Leeds City Council in June 2012. The city council advertised the boundary of the Plan with a consultation period of 6 weeks, running from 20 July to the 31 August 2012. The boundary of the plan includes an element which is in the Bardsey Parish – namely land and houses off Syke Lane. Submission of the extended boundary delayed Scarcroft’s submission of our intention to develop a plan slightly, but it was vital that the Development Group obtained the full permission and backing of our neighbouring parish.


Overlapping our Neighbourhood Plans has resulted in a very strong and mutually supportive relationship with our neighbouring parishes; primarily with Bardsey but also with Shadwell where we have presented details of our plan and consultation methods.



4. Village History


Lead Community Members: David Cross


The history of the village is of particular importance, to set the context of the plan. Scarcroft has not developed a ‘history of the village’ unlike some of their neighbouring communities. David Cross is leading on pulling the information together and a presentation will be given to a Development Working Group early in 2013. In addition, further work on the history of Scarcroft is being pulled together by Olav Arnold and Lionel Scott. The Development Group will work with them to ensure that the Neighbourhood Plan includes a full reference to the development of the village, to assist us in shaping the future.



5. Consultation/Communication


Lead Community Members: Roger Shirley, Gary Jameson, David Cross, Tom Wainman, Cllr John Wright and Bob Jackson


  • Communication Plan - A communication plan has been drafted to ensure that the Development Group develop the Neighbourhood Plan utilising a range of communication techniques with residents of the village. It is the intention of the Development Group to provide as much opportunity for local people to shape the plan and the future of the village as is possible.
  • Emails – A group email has been established to liaise with the residents of the village who have asked to be kept informed regarding meetings and progress. The email account is maintained by the Development Groups Secretary Gary Jameson.
  • Press reports – A number of press releases have been published in the Wetherby News and Parish Newsletters. It is the intention of the communication group to increase the use of media to get the message out to residents in the village.
  • Public meetings – A number of public meetings have been held throughout the year, supplemented by task and finish groups to populate individual elements of the plan. The details of these groups are included in other sections of the report.
  • Village notice boards – Notification of meetings have been displayed in the village notice boards.
  • Working Group website – The Village Web site was created following detailed discussion with the Parish Council. It was decided that it was more appropriate to develop a village web site, rather than a specific Neighbourhood Plan site. was launched mid year to communicate progress on the village plan and also to share other key information about the village. Our thanks for developing the Web site go to Cllr John Wright and Bob Jackson, who have done a fantastic job.
  • Village Survey – A Village survey (drafted by Tom Wainman) was circulated to all residences within the plan boundary. Leeds City Councillor Matthew Robinson supported the group in providing a covering letter to the survey encouraging residents to respond to the questionnaire and to engage in the development of the Neighbourhood Plan. There was good response rate with 123 forms returned from residents of the village. The detailed information was collated and analysed by Peter Campbell, Mary Welsh and Anne Lobley. Further analysis will inform the development of the plan.
  • Presentations – presentations on the Neighbourhood Plan process and progress were given to the Development Group and the Annual Parish Meeting.



6. Sustainable community


Lead Community Members: Cllr Paddy Proctor and Cllr Ruth Middleton


The Neighbourhood Plan gives local people the opportunity of deciding how we can move to a more sustainable community that reduces our reliance on the earth’s dwindling natural resources, whilst enhancing the environment for the people who live within the village both now and in the future.


Scarcroft as a community may not be able to influence the global position, however there are many options in our neighbourhood to start working towards a renewable energy-based, reuse/recycle local economy that meets the needs of society and protects our local environment.


The Development Group has debated the sustainable merits of the community, using a SWOT approach to analyse the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (see appendix 1). In addition, the village have previously conducted a sustainability appraisal of amenities in the village and surrounding areas to ascertain how sustainable the village is for current residents. The work identified that in many aspects the village is not sustainable, as we have no direct access to many basic amenities i.e. shops, medical facilities, schools and public open space. However, it also identified a number of opportunities that could be developed, supported by a neighbourhood planning process.


The Neighbourhood Plan could be used to:


  • Explore local options for energy use reduction and generation from renewable sources;
  • Identify opportunities for improving the availability of local food products in shops, thereby reducing food miles;
  • Encourage reduced vehicle use and use of more fuel-efficient vehicles;
  • Improve opportunities for waste and recycling initiatives.


Through the Neighbourhood Plan people in our parish can help to clarify:


  • Which options for generation of renewable energy are suitable and desirable in our community e.g. wind power, solar PV, community wood fuel;
  • What we can do as a community to improve home insulation, heating controls etc, to ensure we are not wasting energy;
  • Whether we should demand a higher standard of energy efficiency in all new-build development in the neighbourhood;
  • How we can we make better use of local amenity space and any additional space that becomes available as the plan is developed:
  • How we can support the amenities in our neighbouring communities, including local shops, schools, etc.



7. Development site appraisal


Lead Community Members: Cllr Ruth Middleton, Cllr Breeda Murray, Rob Farnell, Mike Linter and Gerry McLucas


Leeds City Council led the site allocation process with their ‘Call for sites’ exercise in 2012. The call for sites is part of the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) process. It is an exercise to assess the amount of land that could be made available for housing development. This process identified a number of sites for potential development (see appendix 2) in the identified Scarcroft Neighbourhood Plan boundary.


Following the publication of the initial sites list and the addition of sites led by land owners, a core site assessment group was established from the wider Scarcroft Development Plan working Group.


A visit and detailed assessment of each site was carried out under the following headings:-


  • Site Reference
  • Address
  • Owner
  • Potential number of houses (acres and Hectares)
    • Advantages and disadvantages – consideration of topography, access, public transport routes, consolidation of the village, contribution to ribbon development, egress into green belt land, brown field/green field status


The site appraisal process, supported by the public consultation exercise enabled the Parish Council and the Development Group to submit the village’s initial consideration of the development sites in mid October 2012. The processes allowed us to use a traffic light system to rate the sites:


Green –          ‘I am comfortable with the site’

Amber –         ‘I think this is a possible option’

Red –                         ‘I am against the development of this site’


An element of the N Power site was put forward as a Green site; along with the site currently under construction off Syke Lane, known locally as Micky’s Field; the Quarry Site off Syke Lane and the first phase of development on the Castle Mona site.


Amber submissions include the Wood Farm brown field site just off the A58 on the entrance to the village.


All other sites in the village were rated as red sites. The village felt all housing need in the village could be accommodated on the identified green sites and some of the additional sites had significant constraints due to access, topography, etc. The Development Group and task and finish group for site appraisals noted that both the N Power site, the Quarry Site and Wood Farm included land which is considered in planning terminology as brown field, where the site had been previously developed. The Development Groups desire to preserve Green field and Green Belt land (as far as possible) led to the brown field sites being put forward as our primary sites for development.


8. Sites of historic interest/protection


Lead Community Members: Roger Shirley, Peter Campbell, Cllr Paul Thompson, Cllr Gary Jameson, Mary Welsh, Ann Lobley, Malcolm Lobley and David Cross


The Neighbourhood Planning process provides the village with the opportunity of identifying sites of local and sometimes national importance. It allows the plan to make provision for the protection of such sites in the future. The following sites have been identified by the task and finish group for detailed consideration. Further information regarding each site and a detailed appraisal of their contribution to the ambiance of the village will be developed in 2013.


(Sites of historic importance)


Hetchell Woods

Roman Road

Toll Bar House

Rowley Grange Farm


Marlborough House


(Areas of special interest


Hetchell Woods (beetles)

Fishponds (fish)

Scarcroft Plantations (owned by the Woodland Trust)

Trees and grassland between Hellwood Lane and Cricket ground

Old telephone box


 (Existing leisure amenities)


Old railway line (cycling)

All foot paths and bridleways (walking)

Cricket ground (games)

Golf club (games)


(Listed buildings and other buildings of architectural importance


Beacon Hill house

Manor House

Scarcroft Grange

The Gatehouses

Beaconsfield Villas

Castle Mona

Moat Hall

Scarcroft Water Mill

Eltofts Farm


Village social infrastructure


Pub (currently the New Inn)

Village Hall

Land below the Village Hall with potential for Public Open Space


Too good to lose


Public flower beds

Green Belt and Conservation Areas

Trees in general

Oak trees (2 off) adjacent to Village Hall car park



9. Neighbourhood Plan policies and guidance


Lead Community Members: Cllr Ruth Middleton


Policy development for the Neighbourhood Plan is in its early stages. However, it is likely that policies will be developed relating to the following areas:


  • Affordable housing
  • High quality design standards, respecting the scale, style and setting of the existing village (possibly site specific i.e. for our ‘green’ sites).
  • Support for home-working to reduce traffic movement.
  • Encouraging the retention and expansion of local shops and community facilities to meet local needs and helping the village to thrive. In particular supporting new facilities for families, the elderly and young people.
  • Protecting the natural and built environment and supporting the re-use of brown field sites where appropriate.
  • Open space and green space protection and improvements, creating extra areas of open and green space within new developments and opportunities to create linkages to footpaths and cycle ways, linking Scarcroft to neighboring villages.
  • The Plan will expect development to retain important hedgerows, mature trees and existing areas of woodland and to improve the connectivity between green spaces to enhance the village.
  • To require new house building to reduce water discharge and promote energy efficiency, possibly beyond the minimum standards sought through the normal planning and building control process.



10. Improved Community Services


Improved community services and facilities was a key aspect of the village questionnaire. The questionnaire attempted to ascertain the demand for facilities in the village. The community levy and relationships with land owners and developers will be crucial in unlocking the potential of both existing and future community facilities.


Residents clearly stated their support for existing facilities, such as the pub, village hall, cricket club and golf club. However, residents were also keen to create some quality open space akin to that in our neighbouring villages – to allow children to play, residents to mix and the future village to thrive.


Access to shops and medical facilities came high on the list and further liaison with neighbouring villages is necessary to see if we can work together to develop sustainable solutions.


Firming up this section of the Neighbourhood plan will be a key element for 2013.


Appendix 1

Neighbourhood Plan – SWOT analysis





  • Wealthy community
  • Wide skill base
  • Technical skills
  • Proximity to Leeds/countryside
  • Elevated village
  • Pub/cricket, croquet, woodland walks, etc
  • Village hall
  • No street lights
  • Residents who want to see a more sustainable village




  • Design – A58 cuts village in half
  • Separate enclaves, community doesn’t work as a whole
  • Demographics
  • No village shop/school
  • Limited public transport
  • Poor public pavements
  • No public space/play areas
  • No street lights



  • N.Power    - sponsorship for village facilities?


- building land

  • Scarcroft lodge future?
  • To gain facilities on back of more development e.g. shop, POS, etc
  • Cricket club site for future village amenity
  • Village plan to shape/guide future development
  • First right to buy New Inn if ever proposed to sell (as part of localism bill rights)




  • High land values therefore v advantageous for developers
  • If expands we could merge with Leeds and Leeds suburbs
  • Development of surrounding areas and neighbouring village development
  • Piecemeal development below Public Open Space contribution threshold – to avoid village contributions
  • Apathy of some residents
  • Lack of interest
  • Loss of village identity


Appendix 2






We want everyone in the village, irrespective of age, to tell us what they want by filling in this questionnaire.


Scarcroft Parish Council has asked a group of local people to engage with the community to draw up our own Neighbourhood Plan. We, the Scarcroft Village Development Group, are supported by Scarcroft Parish Council, but are independent of them.


Please complete as much of the questionnaire as you can and return it to either the post box at the Village Hall or the drop box at The New Inn before Sunday 12th August 2012.


If you would like more copies, have a question, or would like to become involved, please email us at For more information, please visit our website at





Your name…………………………………………     Postcode………….…


Your age (please tick)









(this information will be used to show we have consulted widely across all areas of the village and for validation purposes only)


What attracts you to live in Scarcroft?





In order for Leeds City Council to meet its house building targets as set by central government over the next 15 years, provision needs to be made for new houses in Scarcroft.

The sites on the map have been suggested for possible housing development by Leeds City Council (please note that none yet have planning permission). Please rank the following in order of priority from 1 to 14 (1 being your preferred site for development and 14 being your least preferred):































Sites A B C D E F G H I J K L have been suggested by Leeds City Council.

Sites M N have been identified by Scarcroft Parish Council and the Scarcroft Village Development Group in consultation with the site owners as possible sites for future housing development:




Please suggest any other sites in Scarcroft that may be suitable for new homes, not already identified.




What kind of housing should be prioritised? Tick as many as you agree with.


Starter homes 1-2 bedrooms

Family homes 3-4 bedrooms

Family homes 5+ bedrooms

Affordable housing (including assisted mortgages, part ownership )



Sheltered housing

Other (please specify)





Building new homes can generate new and improved services and facilities. Please tick to indicate which services Scarcroft needs (a) now (b) if 50 new houses were built, and (c) if 250 new houses were built.




[   50 ] homes

[ 250   ] homes





Post office




Park with paved paths, benches etc




Children’s playground








Playing field




Doctor’s surgery




Pre-school provision




Primary school




More frequent bus service to Leeds




Cycle lane on A58








Additional footpaths connecting nearby villages






Are there any other amenities you would like in Scarcroft either now or in the future?




Do you agree that the village hall facilities should be improved/modernised/extended including provision of additional land for village fetes/flower show/beer festival/other community events?                 Yes/No



If you would like to see it improved what do you think is the priority?




Under the Localism Act 2011, we can nominate sites already used by the public in order to protect that public use. Do you agree or disagree that the following sites should be nominated and protected:-





Cricket ground



The New Inn



Scarcroft Plantation (woodland opposite the Village Hall)



Village Hall






[Leeds Country Way]




Are there any other public sites that you think should be protected in this way?




Are there any open spaces in Scarcroft you consider special because of their beauty, historic importance, recreational value, tranquillity or wildlife? It may be possible to protect such sites from development. Please list any such sites below and mark them on the map on the front page. To help us make the best possible case for protecting these sites, please tell us why you value each of them eg walking, the view, wildlife etc.




Are there any trees in Scarcroft you would like to see protected? Please mark these on the map or explain their location in detail.




Do you think there should be streetlights on new developments?              





Do you think there should be any additional streetlights on the A58 between the Village Hall and the New Inn?





Is there anywhere else you would like to see additional streetlights?




Are there any other comments you would like to make about the future of Scarcroft?






We want as many people as possible to be involved in drawing up our Neighbourhood Plan. If you want to be involved in any way then please visit the village Website for more information and contact details.




Thank you for taking the time to complete the questionnaire.