Oulton and Woodlesford are distinct communities that over time have grown together, to the point where it is difficult to say where one starts, and one finishes. This increasing connectivity is a product of historical development, often associated with huge changes to the local landscape by industrial development. Much of that development has been progressive, providing facilities that enrich and support both communities.
As the communities have grown and changed, the attractions of the village characteristics of Oulton and Woodlesford have been valued and recognised by residents. As well as having official Conservation Areas, strong community groups work together to keep the local environment maintained and attractive. It is in this spirit that local residents came together to produce this draft Plan.
Development is inevitable as communities grow. However, the strongest communities are those that grow sustainably, preserving a distinctive sense of place, and improving their area over time. This Plan provides a record of what is valued by the local community in Oulton and Woodlesford, so that what gets built in the future can complement rather than compete.
The Neighbourhood Development Plan was subject to a statutory 6-week consultation before being examined by an independent Neighbourhood Plan Examiner. The Plan incorporates the changes required by the Examiner and has also been modified in the light of the Examiner’s recommended optional changes.
The Plan now comes back to you, the residents of Oulton and Woodlesford, to vote on, in a referendum: your time to decide if this Plan should be ‘made’ and adopted by the City Council as part of the statutory Development Plan for the city. At that point the hard work of the Forum and the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group will be realised, and all future planning applications will be assessed against the policies contained therein.
Cllr Stewart Golton, Leeds City Councillor, Rothwell Ward
Professor David Cove, Chair, Oulton and Woodlesford Forum