WHAT IS BETTER WETHERBY?
Welcome to the website of the Better Wetherby Partnership.
We are a consortium of local people from a variety of organisations who contribute to initiatives designed to help make Wetherby and the surrounding villages better for the community of both current and future generations. A current focus is our concern about the negative impact on Wetherby and the local environment resulting from large-scale house building. See About Us for further details
Our aim is to ensure that all new developments respect the community-led sense of place we currently enjoy, whilst contributing positively towards the local economy, character and scale of our historic and attractive market town.
Chairmans Message - July 2020:
Welcome to our latest Newsletter. Judging by the response to our last edition, many of you were impressed by our determination to keep going through the current crisis. Thanks for your good wishes, all at BW appreciate them. What has also been particularly pleasing is the receipt of several monetary donations, very kind.
A number of ongoing matters are covered in the Newsletter, especially the issue of Racecourse Approach, which I feel will feature large over the coming months. Recently the Aireborough Neighbourhood Forum challenged the whole Leeds Site Allocation Inquiry decision around the allocation of Green Belt land and won their case in the High Court, although the Judge is yet to hand down his decision. They are now challenging all Green Belt allocations in Leeds on the grounds the Inquiry decision was wrong in Law. Although the Racecourse Approach site is not Green Belt, the challenge by the Aireborough could have major ramifications for Leeds, so BW will be keeping a close watch on this.
BW aims to challenge the conditions imposed on the Planning Application for Racecourse Approach when the matter progresses. To do so we will need substantial funds to employ experts to support our case. The Aireborough Neighbourhood Forum actually raised in the order of £60,000 to fund their case, so this gives an indication of the type of funds we may need. If you can contribute it would be appreciated. Details of how to contribute are shown in the Newsletter.
At BW we are moving forward, even via Zoom! Personally I am looking forward to meeting colleagues face to face again before too much longer. In the meantime, thanks for reading, stay safe.
Roger Owen; Chair
Better Wetherby Partnership
Chairmans Message - May 2020:
Welcome to the latest Newsletter from the Better Wetherby Partnership. Yes we're still here and active! Since my election to Chair in February life has changed in so many ways and although Members of BW have been observing Government Guidance in all respects we have kept busy as the content of this Newsletter will show. Seeking to make Wetherby and surrounding villages better for current and future generations remains at the top of our priorities.
These are dark times and for those of you who have suffered illness at home or been hospitalised and now recovering or under treatment we send our best wishes. For those who may have lost family, loved ones or someone close we send our deepest sympathy.
However, to paraphrase Her Majesty the Queen and Captain, now Sir Tom Moore, we will get through this and we will meet again. I have seen something of this spirit in Wetherby over recent weeks, the sterling efforts of our butchers, bakers, hardware stores, greengrocers, banks, chemists, newsagents, filling stations and supermarkets have all made a great contribution. Social distancing for me has lead to conversations with those 2 metres away who I had never met before, helped by the dry if cold weather, shop assistants saying “Don't stand out in the cold, come round to the side door and order there”. The checkout operators at Morrisons singing 'We'll meet again' on VE Day. A super spirit which I hope will remain as we start to see a slow easing of the rules that we have obeyed for over two months now.
Over the period I had hoped to take forward the great work of BW and by now have outlined the future as we see it at a public meeting - but that will have to wait. In the interim BW continues. We have challenges to face, the proposed development at Racecourse Approach, The Leeds Council Climate Emergency and its effect on Wetherby and planned developments, public transport, road congestion, air quality and other topics where I believe BW can and will be a leading force for improving our community.
Now for the kicker, as marketing people put it. Last winter saw BW play a pivotal role in defeating the Appeal by Stockeld Estate / Hallam Land against the refusal of Harrogate Borough to grant planning consent for 210 houses, this would have had a significant effect on Wetherby. We achieved our victory by the efforts of BW but one individual in particular, Paul Crossan who “played a blinder”. We did all this on a financial shoestring and if we are to ensure that we hold the relevant bodies to account in future in order to get the right development in the right place and avoid the wrecking of our quality of life in this lovely town, we need money. Money to enable us to employ the best quality professional advice and money to make our message heard in a wider audience. There are details in the newsletter about how you can help us, please give our messages and our work some serious thought and join the cause, you never know, you may find your contribution more rewarding than yet another jigsaw puzzle.
Thanks for reading, stay safe.
Roger Owen; Chair
Better Wetherby Partnership