LETTERS: Ponderosa plan would greatly improve site

From: Professor John A Double, Upper Batley
Ponderosa Zoo in HeckmondwikePonderosa Zoo in Heckmondwike
Ponderosa Zoo in Heckmondwike

Professor John Double writes: Regarding last week’s article by your reporter Tony Earnshaw ‘Ponderosa blow as plans refused’.

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Blow for Ponderosa Zoo as new buildings refused over green belt concerns

Councillors are supposed to support local enterprise and projects that will provide community benefit. It is quite clear that they have no concept of what the development might achieve and their arguments over the issue of the area being designated Green Belt are ridiculous and there are special circumstances where developments may be permitted.

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The case for the development would clearly fulfil these. The area has been a blot on the landscape since the wastewater treatment works was demolished several years ago.

Furthermore, when the land was sold to Ponderosa a condition of the sale was that it could only be used for educational or agricultural purposes that would be a benefit to the community. This is exactly what these plans are designed to do.

At present Ponderosa provides unique facilities for those with learning and other disabilities. There can be no doubt that the numbers involved if Ponderosa did not exist, the council would be not be able to provide anything approaching the current provision.

All that is being requested is that these facilities could be expanded to allow many more to gain from the fantastic experiences that the current service users benefit from.

I sincerely hope that there will be an appeal against this decision and that this will be upheld and that the potential benefits to the community will not be lost.

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