Future of Gledhow Field
A fence was erected round the field in August/September 2015. The only part left open to the community is an access path along one side of the field. We, the Friends of Gledhow field, have always wanted a compromise. We still hope a compromise can be reached but to date there has been no willingness by the school/council to discuss a compromise, so we have applied to have the field registered as a Town Green. The application is currently open for letters of support or objection. The closing date for evidence is the 12th of May.
If you have ever used the field for recreation or sport please contact us.
Recreation can be things like:
- walking the dog
- going for a walk on the field
- simply enjoying the peace and quiet.
Sport can be just:
- a kick around
- playing any games.
They don’t have to have been official or organised. The more people who write statements the better.
If you want to give a statement and help keep the field open for the community please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
NEIGHBOURHOOD DESIGN STATEMENT
The Roundhay Planning Forum compiled a Neighbourhood Design Statement, RoundhayNDS, which ‘Leeds City Council fully supports’ and the Council confirmed that it ‘will form part of the statutory development plan for Leeds’. As part of the ‘recommendations for enhancement’, the report suggests that, ‘Access to The Postage Stamp, (Gledhow Field) needs clearer definition and maintenance – perhaps the creation of a ‘friends’ group to ensure its survival’. In line with these recommendations, the formation of The Friends of Gledhow Field has been completed and our objectives fall in line with those suggested in the Statement and supported by our Council.
Whilst there has been no specific public consultation on the proposal to fence off Gledhow Field, the Design Statement was compiled by formal consultations with the public and accepted by the Council, this, we believe, should therefore take precedence. The Friends of Gledhow Field, supported by the community should be given the opportunity to action its recommendations and to preserve the future of this publicly/council owned, green space.
According to our survey the negative impacts of the loss of the field to local residents are likely to be:
Loss of Green Space – The field is a much loved, valued and used green space and the local community is almost unanimous in being against its closure.
Children’s Play – Without the field there is nowhere locally as safe and suitable for children to play.
Social Inclusion – The field is currently used by older people, individuals with physical or learning disabilities and other vulnerabilities. Without this field, people who are unable to travel further will have no access to open green space for exercise, playing with young relatives, walking their dogs, socialising etc.
Health and Well-Being – The field provides one of few local amenities for exercise and fresh air.
Money – Some felt that the fence did not represent good use of public money and that funds would be better spent either on facilities within the school or other council projects.
Crime and Anti-social Behaviour – Alternative play and open access areas, (specifically use of Gledhow Field), were solutions recommended by West Yorkshire Police in a court case resulting from anti-social behaviour on the Brackenwood Estate. Concerns are now being raised that this previously resolved issue, may reappear if local youths do not have open space to gather.
Access to Nature – In a compact residential area such as Roundhay, it is important for everyone, particularly children, to have access to nature and green spaces as opposed to concrete and bricks.
History – Whilst people accept change is needed in the modern world, following the closure of the rugby ground, this is now the only green space left in the Gledhow/Brackenwood area. Local residents have used it for decades stretching back to the times when older members of our community remember cows on it. Things do have to move on, but we need to preserve a little bit of the past for our future generations.
Dogs – Closure of the field leaves many dog owners without a safe and accessible area to walk their pets. Around one in 4 households has a dog and it is estimated that there are around double the amount of dogs than children aged between 3 and 11 in the UK, therefore the importance of dog walkers as part of the community should not be underestimated.
The Fenced Path/Ginnel – Significant concern has been raised from both the community and the care home, (many of their staff use the land for access to work), about the safety of a path around the field. Currently the land is wide open with excellent visibility and regular use therefore it is deemed to be a safe route for children and adults alike. With a narrower path, it is thought the likelihood of anti-social behaviour, crime and drug use may increase on the land as visibility will be considerably reduced in this confined space. This has been highlighted to us by both the police and other leading bodies who focus on crime prevention and personal safety.
Community Socialising – The land is used by young and old people alike as a community area where they can meet, (planned or otherwise), get some fresh air and socialise. A sense of community is important and there is concern about crumbling social structures if there is no focus point such as the field.