Is the Aireborough landscape of value to the health and wellbeing of the residents?
Is it scenic to attract visitors?
How is the land used in different areas?
What historic ‘relics’ are there around to conserve?
Is the land dry or wet, and if wet is that boggy, becks or dams? Natural or man-made?
What plants and animals are supported in the landscape?
These are all questions we need to assess to find the value of the landscape, and to test its sensitivity to further development, as well as help define design standards for the future. The work has not been done before and will feed into the Aireborough Neighbourhood Plan, and also be used as evidence in the Inspector’s Hearings for the Leeds Site Allocations Plan.
Landscape value or qualityy always has great importance in planning but the situation in Aireborough is particularly critical because the landscape setting is what distinguishes the different settlements of Guiseley, Dean Grange, Hawksworth, High Royds, Nether Yeadon, Yeadon (and for completeness Carlton and Rawdon – although these are not being assessed in this project).
At the same time there is huge pressure for development of new housing and infrastructure, so sound judgement is required in then taking the output of a landscape value exercise, and looking at landscape sensitivity and capacity to changes. This work is absolutly critical to the area, and needs to be done.
The ANDF has therefore employed Chartered Landscape Architect, Tom Lonsdale to work with Forum members to assess value and gauge sensitivity. Tom has years of experience, as Chief Landscape Architect with Manchester City Council, was founder of renown urban design practice Camlin Lonsdale, and is a member of the Academy of Urbanism. Tom did the work to find the locations across the South Pennines for Ilkley Literature Festival’s Stanza Stones project with poet Simon Armitage.
Your Input is Vital
What is needed now is for volunteers to go out into the area, under Tom’s guidance, and record on maps, photographs and paper, the answer to questions he will set. With the weather so beautiful at the moment, and with more time over Easter, we hope this will be a pleasant and even social task. It doesn’t matter if you know the area of not – the crucial point is to be objective.
Aireborough has been divided into 10 sub-areas, eg Yeadon Moor, Nether Yeadon, Old Guiseley, and we would like people to ideally go out in pairs (as this is good practice and can help overcome subsequent challenge, as well as help with any issue of safety), but you can do it on your own, observe the landscape in an objective and analytical way in each sub-area. So, the Odda, or Rawdon Billing may be seen from different areas, what is the impression they give in each? Or the belt of poplar trees on Wills Gill may be visible from Guiseley Town Street, or Tranmere Park, to one it is a feature, to the other a landmark.
The cell’s do include the built up areas, as landscape is important to setting – so it is not all about muddy boots and walking – even those who are not able to walk can help from a car. Neither are we asking people to trespass onto private land, a sub-area should be looked at from as many public viewpoints as necessary to understand its purpose.
Workshop & Guidance
To explain what is needed and why, Tom will be giving a comprehensive briefing at a half day workshop on 12th March, 1.30-4.30pm in the hall at the New Life Community Church, Haw Lane, Yeadon – which has excellent views of the area, and we will also provide tea and cake. We will give out all the materials needed to do the assessment.
Then to bring people back together to look at what has been found, there will be another half day workshop on 2nd April 1.30-4.30pm in the Fellowship Room at the Methodist Church, Otley Road, Guiseley.
This is absolutly vital work for Aireborough, to try and ensure that anything that is done, and what is done does not
destroy what is valuable in the landscape, and activly works to enhance it. Leeds City Council are not doing this work, we have to do it ourselves and report on the evidence. But, it does have to be objective and through.
If you would like to take part please email the Aireborough Neighbourhood Development Forum, either Jennifer Kirkby or Liz Kirkpatrick on email@example.com.
Landscape Photography Project
For nearly a year now Darren Sanderson, and other have been walking all over Aireborough, in the mud, and the rain, the sun and the wind, to seek out a variety of features, and to try and understand what the area actually is. To start you thinking here are just some of the body of work that has been collected.