With our landscape character report now in production, and our ecology fieldwork survey on a number of sites across Aireborough underway, we now need to fund an urban design project that has been identified by a number of our planning experts as crucial to the Neighbourhood Plan.
We need a professional, innovative and experienced urban design team to lead a project to look at the character, and how people use Aireborough’s built environment; especially since we have had so much new development in the last 10 years that has made substantial changes to use and movement.
The outcome of the work would be to make suggestion for where and how we can
- create more useable public space in the heart of communities for events and coming together eg a Centre for Guiseley rather than a gyratory, and an extended centre for Yeadon to include the Old Dog Mill area.
- improve footpath and cycleway linkages to make moving around in this way easier and more pleasurable. Initial research has shown that Aireborough’s transport network is overly complex and not suitable for our urban fringe environment eg better footpath between Guiseley railway station and the Football Club to relieve traffic and parking issues
- plan for new quality community facilities in places that are useful to residents eg Aireborough Leisure centre needs a revamp, but is it even in the right place, given its importance to Yeadon
- implement a design guide for new buildings to fit in with the local character and requirements
The project would also aim to establish how the homes we need at the more reasonable end of the market, could be accommodated, and how our green environment related to the built area. In addition, it would identify the employment zones areas that need regeneration and better linkages. In other words a full urban design of Aireborough to make it a better and more sustainable place to live.
We have seen other Neighbourhood Plan areas in England carry out such a study and successfully use it in the Neighbourhood Plan, and the members of the Forum as well as a number of planning consultants we have talked to have all agreed that this work is crucial for Aireborough. So, the next task is to raise the funds for it.
In addition, we would like to commission a flooding and drainage report to understand better how Aireborough’s complex system of becks, and subsequent ground and surface water drainage now work. Many of the old mills now developed into housing were originally on sites powered by water – now this water is not being used, what is it doing and where is it going. The area is covered with a network of historic water management systems and we need to understand this. Menston have already done an excellent study on High Royds and we will build on this.
What Do We Want To Raise?
Overall, our initial aim is to raise £25,000. But our Neighbourhood Plan Team is in the process of obtaining quotes for the work and looking at project objectives, plans and costs.
We have started fundraising in a small way with our Pop-Up Displays, and you may have seen us at Guiseley’s Street Party on Sunday, and the Tales Told Festival. You will also find us ‘popping up’ at other community events over the summer.
In addition, we have a Local Giving, crowdfunding account, and we will be asking people to make contributions through different campaigns. But it is all for the same cause. Our account is here for donations. To start with on 16th June, Today, any £5 donation will be in for a chance of matchfunding, if made before midnight.
There is a lot to do to raise this money and be ready for the projects to start in late summer. If anyone would like to work with us as a Fundraiser, we would be pleased of the help. You or a member of your family may be a student who would like ‘work experience’ in the community, or you may be retired and looking for a a volunteering task. We are members of Voluntary Action Leeds, and they can offer advice and support. If you would like to contact us to discuss, please email Jennifer Kirkby on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, you may wonder why the Neighbourhood Forum Team is undertaking this fundraising – this press release from one Aireborough’s MP’s, Greg Mulholland, might explain. But in essence, Neighbourhood Planning Groups need to fundraise for the evidence and professional consultancy support on a Neighbourhood Plan; if there is a Parish Council they would use the parish precept paid through the community charge. We, as a Neighbourhood Forum have to use other methods.
We’d like to thank everyone (and it is a growing number) who have helped the Neighbourhood Plan to date through gifts of time, skill, resource and money.