In order to provide a route for the trolleybus, Leeds City Council has appropriated the following nine areas of open space::
- Land on the corner of Holtdale Approach and Otley Old Road
- Land to the east of Otley Old Road (Tinshill Rec)
- Land to the east of Otley Old Road and south west of Raynel Drive
- Land to the north east of Otley Old Road
- Two Parcels of Land at Little / Cinder / Monument Moor to the North East of Woodhouse Lane
- Land at Woodhouse Moor to the South West of Woodhouse Lane
- Land at Woodhouse Lane
- Land at Nursery Mount Road
- Land at Belle Isle Circus
The appropriation was carried under powers conferred by section 122 of the Local Government Act 1972. This allows local authorities to appropriate land no longer required as open space.
Notification of the intention to appropriate was by means of the following small advert placed in the Yorkshire Post on Saturday the 19th and 26th October.
Despite 152 objections, the appropriation was carried out by means of a delegated decision on the 8th January 2013.
A council report dated 18th December 2013, specifically states at paragraphs 2.10 and 2.11 that the appropriation was necessary to avoid Special Parliamentary Procedures. Special Parliamentary Procedures are only required where there’s no intention to replace the open space. Paragraph 4f on page 4 of the NGT Project Board minutes of the 16th September 2013 suggests that the decision to appropriate the land was based on advice from legal firm Bircham Dyson Bell.
At the the public inquiry, the promoters’ property expert, Richard Caten confirmed to the inspector that Special Parliamentary Procedures are only necessary when no replacement open space is provided. He also stated that the promoters had not asked him to find any replacement open space.
In October 2014, the A660 Joint Council sought legal advice on the timing and legality of the appropriation, and whether the appropriation meant that the inspector couldn’t take the loss of open space into account. The advice of barrister Alex Greaves was that the appropriation took place on he 8th January 2014, and that it was probably illegal. Mr Greaves said that despite the appropriation, the inspector could still take into account the loss of open space and the failure to replace it.
Mr Greaves’ advice means that we could have brought an application for judicial review of the appropriation process had we acted sooner, But at the time, there was no reason for us to act, as the advice on the NGT Metro website was that the appropriation would only go ahead if the application for a TWAO was successful. The advice given by the NGT Metro website was changed following publication of Mr Greaves’ advice. The NGT Metro web page remains unchanged since the change that was made on 23 October 2014.
AREAS THAT HAVE BEEN APPROPRIATED
The following are the areas of Woodhouse Moor that have been appropriated:
- Part of the section of Woodhouse Moor known as Monument Moor
- Part of the section of the Moor known as Little Moor
- All of the broad grass verge with its trees on the south side of Woodhouse Lane that border the walk known as ‘The Avenue’.
Here is the Avenue as it appeared in Edwardian times :
The above view of the Avenue is looking towards the library. The broad grass verge and avenue of trees that the council has appropriated is on the left.
The above view of the Avenue is looking towards Hyde Park Corner. The broad grass verge and trees that the council has appropriated is shown on the right.
The two photographs below show the Avenue today. All that has changed since Edwardian times is that the fence has been removed that used to separate the broad grass verge from the York stone pavement that borders Woodhouse Lane.
Here is a map showing the various parts of Woodhouse Moor that the council has appropriated:
The following photograph shows Belle Isle Circus, which has also been appropriated so the trolleybus can run across it.