Character of the area
The 19th century terraces arrayed up the hill are all are built of red brick with pitched, mainly slate, roofs. Their regular arrangement is varied by the level changes both between streets and along the streets themselves. Added detail is provided by variations in door and window treatment – brick arches, stone lintels – and chimneys. Some recent dormer extensions have marred the traditional roofscape, though some terraces, notably Wilton Grove and Spring Hill Terrace remain broadly unaltered.
Within the main, terraced area of the Highburys, small front gardens are bounded by brick walls with stone copings. There are no verges and few trees along the streets, but residents have helped to improve the environment through growing flowers and vegetables in pots, tubs and hanging baskets, particularly in Highbury Street, Highbury Place and Highbury Lane. The double curve of Monk Bridge Road, climbing the valley side and tightly enclosed by buildings or high walls, provides a distinctive feature, although as a busy traffic route it is difficult to cross. Although the area is mainly residential, there are a few shops along Monk Bridge Road.
Immediately to the north of the converted St Oswald's Church an area of open land, part of which is now enclosed as a private garden, provides an informal entrance to Meanwood Park via allotments. This contrast between the dense urban character and the semi-rural quality of the valley is highly valued. East of Monk Bridge Road, Springhill Terrace runs parallel to the beck and much of its original quality is still apparent, in spite of recent alterations and additions.
The footpath links are an important feature of the area. From Grove Lane the footpath along the beck, past Springhill Terrace and into the Highburys, and from there through the allotments to Meanwoodside, is part of the Meanwood Trail and leads to the Dales Way. Recent signage there is a welcome improvement. There are additional links to the old Meanwood Tanneries across the beck, and back to Monk Bridge Road along School Lane.
Key Positive Characteristics
• Close links to the Meanwood Trail into Meanwood Park
• Semi-rural quality of the northern part of the area
Extracted from Far Headingley, Weetwood & West Park Neighbourhood Design Statement, Leeds City Council, 2ed, 2014. The whole document is available online at <http://www.leeds.gov.uk/docs/FH%20NDS%20Adoption%20Version.pdf>