An Outsider’s View of Aireborough

What does Aireborough look like to an outsider?  When they gaze at our hills, mills, and new developments, what do they see?  Nick Smithson,  a Planning Professional,  with a strong claim to being at the younger end of the age scale,  gives us the benefit of his first impressions.  As a little bit of context,  Nick is from the Middlesborough/North Yorkshire area, and visited Aireborough on a misty, dull day – so did not get the full glory of the long distance views,  that pleasure is still to come.

Key Words
Proud
Industrious
Philanthropy
Gifts
Entrepreneurial legacy
Social betterment
‘Local’
Disjointed
Fractured
Needs better linkages

Views
Well framed views (e.g. by buildings etc)
Accessibility to natural greenspace
Organic
Semi rural/rural
Strong West Yorkshire vernacular

” The Aireborough area has a lot to offer.  Whilst connectivity to the cities of Leeds and Bradford is achievable relatively quickly, this is juxtaposed with the setting which connotes geographical ‘remoteness’.  In many ways this is the ideal setting in which to conduct one’s life and it is easy to understand the aspirational value which non-residents may place on the area as a location to move into.

The legacy of the industrialists who shaped the area is clear to see.  There are strong reminders that the area owes its very existence to the labours of the working man and the enterprising abilities of those who owned the mills and factories.  The spirit of industrial endeavours is probably most accurately captured through the acts of philanthropy which have resulted in the provision of a good range of facilities, the sheer breadth and range of which is fairly unique to Aireborough. To this extent it would be understandable if a resident of Guiseley or Yeadon (or indeed other towns) felt a degree of pride when saying that they lived in the area.

The various communities exist in close proximity to one another yet seem to some extent isolated from each other.  It is clear in some areas to see the interrelation between it and other parts of Aireborough, but in other parts this is not so easy to see.  It seems there is an opportunity to stitch the different parts together to improve linkages and service provision.

The rural setting is perhaps the area’s greatest asset.  The views of the countryside are omnipresent and the streetscape in some areas unwittingly frames the medium/long distance views, adding to the sense of place.  One assumes that this could allow a degree of escapism for those living and working in the area.”

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