Monday, 21 September 2009

Planning chief supports city council’s decision to protect greenfield sites

Two appeals against council decisions to refuse plans for developments on greenfield sites in Leeds have been dismissed by the planning inspector.

Leeds City Council welcomed the decisions by the Government’s Planning Inspectorate to support its original refusal of plans for these two greenfield sites; one at Cleavesty Lane, East Keswick and the other at Smalewell Road, Pudsey.

The planning proposal put forward for a piece of land adjacent to 156 Smalewell Road in Pudsey was for a three bedroomed detached dwelling. This was considered to be an inappropriate development for green belt as it would unacceptably reduce and harm the openness of the area. The subsequent appeal failed to demonstrate any special circumstances as to why the original planning refusal should be overturned, which resulted in costs being awarded to the council.

The outline application to erect three dwellings on the site of an equestrian centre on Cleavesty Lane, East Keswick was refused in January 2009. The subsequent appeal was dismissed last month as the inspector considered that this too would effect the openness of the green belt and the character and appearance of the landscape.

Councillor Andrew Carter, leader of Leeds City Council and executive member with responsibility for planning, welcomed the decision. He said:
“We remain determined to protect our greenfield and green belt areas, and are delighted that the planning inspectorate has supported the council's arguments in these two cases.

"Opportunistic developers who are trying to build on greenfield and green belt sites should understand very clearly that we will defend our decisions to refuse such developments, at appeal if necessary, with the utmost vigour.

“We are not prepared to see our green environment destroyed, and will continue to resist premature, inappropriate and unsustainable forms of development across the city."

Additional info

The Pudsey site is allocated in the council’s city wide planning strategy - the Unitary Development Plan – as a green belt site. Sites designated as green belt should not become available for any development until all other brownfield sites have been developed.

For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578

School admission forms being delivered across the city

Families with children who will start either primary or secondary school in September 2010 are being urged to return their admissions forms as soon as possible.

The information will be used to determine which schools children may be able to attend in September 2010 and it’s vital that parents list up to three preferred schools they wish their children to attend.

The forms need to be returned to Education Leeds by Friday 16 October. For the third year in succession preferences can also be made online by visiting

Both confirmations – whether by email or post – will be sent on 1 March 2010.

Councillor Richard Harker, executive board member responsible for schools, said:
“Choosing a school is a difficult choice to make which is why we have tried to make the process as simple and straight forward as possible.

“The forms and online applications give parents and carers the chance to submit their preferences to us quickly and easily - which will help us place around 17,000 children and young people into schools across the city.”

Chris Edwards, chief executive of Education Leeds, said:
“We are fortunate in Leeds to have so many great local schools doing such a good job and where children and young people are happy, healthy, safe and successful. Unfortunately we cannot guarantee that everybody’s preferred school will be available but we will always do everything possible to ensure as many parents and young people are as happy as possible.

“It is vital that parents apply online or that forms are back by the deadline. Previous years have shown that people who send their forms in late, or do not submit a form at all, are unlikely to get into their preferred school.”

Appeals are limited to the schools named on the admissions form so it is important that all three preferences are filled out – which includes the child’s nearest school.

To help parents and carers make the right decision, Education Leeds, which oversees the admissions process in the city, has helped provide the Choice Advice Service - a confidential service which provides impartial advice, guidance and information to families applying for secondary school places for their children.

The service has lots of useful information about secondary schools in Leeds, including OfSTED reports, league tables, transport and uniform information, and admission policies. They provide impartial advice about all aspects of the admissions process for secondary schools.

To use the service, phone 0113 3950596, email or visit


For media enquiries please contact:
Jon Crampton, Leeds City Council press office, 0113 3951577

European education experts to see the best Leeds has to offer

Leeds is to showcase its world class schools, teaching and ways of working when some of Europe’s leading education professionals visit the city.

Experts from Sweden and Finland will visit Leeds as part of the ‘Tri-City Project’ which has been established to share expertise and knowledge between the three cities.

Fifteen colleagues from Stockholm and Helsinki will be in Leeds between Monday and Wednesday and will visit several of the city’s schools and discuss working in partnership and improving teaching and learning, leadership and ICT.

They will meet headteachers and young people from the schools as well as Chris Edwards, the chief executive of Education Leeds, Councillor Richard Harker, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for learning.

Councillor Richard Harker, executive board member for education at Leeds City Council, said:
“This partnership between the three cities is a great example of the international exchange of information that is taking place to benefit education in Leeds.

“Not only are we showcasing our own schools and ways of working to other countries, we will also be looking to adopt and adapt new methods and skills to ensure our children and young people benefit from their education as much as possible.”

Chris Edwards, chief executive of Education Leeds, said:
So much of what we do here in Leeds is world class and we are proud to share with other cities, not just in this country but from anywhere around the world.

“We are also keen to learn, develop and improve how we work and this partnership will allow us to learn from Stockholm and Helsinki - two cities recognised worldwide for the excellence of their school systems - and put new practices into use for the benefit of young people here in Leeds.”

Schools which will be visited by the delegation include Pudsey Grangefield, Carr Manor High, Methley Primary School, John Smeaton Community College, John Jamieson, Cardinal Heenan High, Temple Moor High and Allerton Grange.


For media enquiries please contact:
Jon Crampton, Leeds City Council press office, 0113 3951577

Higher level teaching assistants celebrated by Education Leeds

The invaluable work of teaching assistants in Leeds schools is to be marked at a special celebration evening.

Over 50 people will receive their Higher Level Teaching Assistants (HLTAs) certificates on Wednesday 23 September after successfully completing the Education Leeds administered and Trinity & All Saints delivered course.

The courses are undertaken by teaching and classroom assistants who have been in post for a number of years and who want to strengthen and develop their classroom skills.

Leeds has one of the largest numbers of HLTAs in any education authority and Education Leeds is keen to help as many assistants as possible further their career development by achieving the award.

The awards will be presented at the Village Hotel in Headingley by the chief executive of Education Leeds, Chris Edwards.

Councillor Richard Harker, executive board member for education at Leeds City Council, said:
“I would like to congratulate everyone who is receiving their HLTA certificate. Our teaching assistants do a tremendous job in supporting teachers in the classroom. They help thousands of children every day and are an invaluable part of school life.”

Chris Edwards, chief executive of Education Leeds, said:
“It will be a pleasure to present certificates to over 50 teaching assistants from schools across Leeds. Their brilliant work helps our children and young people achieve great things throughout their education. They are a fantastic addition to our schools and my congratulations go to everyone who has achieved this award.”

Schools which have teaching assistants receiving the HLTA awards are: All Saints CE Primary School; Benton Park School; Churwell Primary School; City of Leeds High School; Corpus Christi Catholic Primary School; East Garforth Primary School; Farnley Park Maths and Computing College; Garforth Community College; Garforth Green Lane Primary School; Harehills Primary School; Hillcrest Primary School; Hunslet Carr Primary School; Hunslet Moor Primary School; Ireland Wood Primary School; Kerr Mackie Primary School; Kirkstall St Stephen's Church of England Primary School; Lawnswood School; Methley Primary School; Morley High School; Mount St Mary's Catholic High School; North West SILC; NW SILC - Benton Park School; NW SILC - Greenmeadows School; NW SILC - Greenmeadows School; NW SILC – Pennyfields; Oulton Primary School; Priesthorpe Sports Specialist College; Rawdon Littlemoor Primary School; Rothwell Primary School; Rothwell St Mary's Catholic Primary School; St Joseph's Catholic Primary School – Otley; St Nicolas RC First School; St Oswald's Church of England Junior School; Sharp Lane Primary School; South SILC – Broomfield; Waterloo Primary School; Westwood Primary School; Whitecote Primary School.


For media enquiries please contact:
Jon Crampton, Leeds City Council press office, 0113 3951577

The Carriageworks uncovers fresh new talent

Picture Caption: The Idiot Colony

The Carriageworks is fast establishing itself as one of the foremost destinations for innovative, top quality entertainment in Leeds and this season the theatre has been on a mission to find the brightest and most exciting new talent making theatre today.

The result is their Freshly Picked season – a specially selected bunch of the finest visual and physical theatre from across the UK. The season runs from 22nd September to 8th October and kicks off with shows from three Total Theatre Award winners, and also includes a series of performances programmed in collaboration with Yorkshire Dance.

The season starts with Anomie from Bristol-based Precarious (22 Sept, 7.30pm). The company have been picking up awards in their trips to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in the last few years and their new show has been shortlisted for the Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award. Their distinctive performance style blends break-neck physicality with stunning visual effects to create powerfully engaging theatre.

This is followed by Fringe First Winner The Idiot Colony from RedCape Theatre (29 – 30 Sept, 7.30pm). Based on real-life accounts, this visually stunning play is based on the treatment and incarceration of “moral defectives” in 1940s England. Genuinely funny and incredibly moving, this is critically acclaimed and visually striking piece of theatre is currently on an extensive tour following a sold at run at the ICA in London.

The season also showcases great talent from the local area. Local heroes Chotto Ookki will be returning from a hit run at the Edinburgh Festival to present their new show, Sweet (2 Oct, 7.45pm). Developed with the support of the Emerge programme, this is a bitter take on the saccharine nature of love that combines movement, puppetry and dance.

The season continues into October with a series of performances programmed in collaboration with Yorkshire Dance, including David Hughes Dance with The Red Room (5 Oct, 7.30pm); Balbir Singh Dance Company with a double bill of Trespass and Play of Percentages (6 Oct, 7.30pm); and Vincent Dance Theatre with If We Go On (8 Oct, 7.30pm).

Leeds City Council executive member for Leisure Councillor John Procter said:
“The new Freshly Picked season at the Carriageworks has a great line up of new talent. It is fantastic to see the theatre establishing itself so well and providing a showcase for the best new national touring arts productions.”


For media enquiries please contact:
Catherine Milburn, Leeds City Council, 0113 247 8285