Strategic Context - Designations for Public Rights of Way, Green Belt, Nature Conservation and Conservation Areas

(Influences and constraints acting of the Country Park)


Public Right of Way Designations

Public Rights of Way (PRoW) are designated routes which the Local Highway Authority is bound by statute to protect and also to assert the rights of the public to use and enjoy them.

Within the Leeds District this task falls to the Authority’s Public Rights of Way Section within Parks and Countryside.

There are three basic designations -

In addition, under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act (2000), Open Access was introduced, giving the public the right access on certain areas of land.

Green Belt

Although the 1980 approved West Yorkshire County Structure Plan defined strategic Green Belt for Leeds, and the whole of the county, it is the Unitary Development Plan (UDP) which defines in detail a Green Belt around the main urban areas of the district.

The boundaries of Leeds Green Belt land are defined on the UDP Proposals Map. The net effect of the UDP on earlier development plan was to increase the area of Green Belt by about 19,037 hectares, mainly by extending the outer edge of the Green Belt so as to maintain its practical functioning width.

The green belt is a town planning policy with which the general public is very familiar; and it is one policy which enjoys considerable public support. The exact purposes of green belt policy are:

These purposes have the aim of keeping the land in the Green Belt open and not built upon.

Nature Conservation Designations

A number of LCC sites hold nature conservation designations, including national ones such as Sites of Special Scientific Interest, which are placed by Natural England, and Local Nature Reserves, which are designated by LCC, but in agreement with Natural England.

Local designations, placed by LCC include Sites of Geological or Ecological Importance, which are sites of regional significance, and Leeds Nature Areas, which are of local significance, and both of which are outlined in the Unitary Development Plan.

Nature conservation designations are managed through the Wildlife and Countryside section of Parks and Countryside, as well as the Nature Conservation department for Planning. They are intended to help conserve and enhance the areas they protect, in terms of implementing the appropriate management of wildlife habitats (designations highlight those which are particularly valuable for wildlife and/or uncommon examples of these habitats in the Leeds District), as well as the biodiversity these areas support.

The existence of these semi-natural areas also help to make the district aesthetically a more attractive place, with the result that they help to draw building developments and businesses.

Nature Conservation designations in the West Leeds Country Park and Green Gateways area

Conservation Areas

Across the Leeds district there are 65 Conservation Areas, which are designated by the Development service in order to help protect the character of the relevant Conservation Area. To facilitate this an appraisal of each area is undertaken in order to evaluate its qualities and to examine  proposals for its protection and enhancement. 

The designation is intended to manage change in a Conservation Area in order that it protects the special character of that area. As a result permissions are required to undertake certain works, including development, demolition and certain silvicultural and arboricultural works.

Conservation Area designations in the West Leeds Country Park and Green Gateways area

Site of Special Scientific Interest

The Leeds and Liverpool Canal


Site of Geological or Ecological Importance

The Leeds and Liverpool Canal

SEGI No.17

Local Nature Reserve

Farnley Fish Pond

LNR No.7

Leeds Nature Area

Bramley Fall Woods / Lower Falls

LNA 20

Hawksworth Wood

LNA 50

Hunger Hills

LNA 55

Kirkstall Wildflower Garden

LNA 67

Nan Whin’s Wood

LNA 79

The Outwood (Newlay Wood and Rein Road)

LNA 86

Post Hill

LNA 88

Silver Royd Hill

LNA 38

Swaine Wood

LNA 102

Woodhall Lake

LNA 112

Conservation Area


Pudsey : Fulneck




Armley Mill


Kirkstall Abbey




Bramley Hill Top


Farnley Upper Moor Side


Central Area: Canal Wharf


Horsforth : Newlay




Calverley Bridge


Woodhall Hills




Bramley : Town Street


Bramley: Hough Lane




West Leeds Country Park and Green Gateways


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