“Are these Leeds homes slums of the future?”

CONTROVERSIAL: The development site has caused concern in the community.
CONTROVERSIAL: The development site has caused concern in the community.

Developers have been sent back to the drawing board by councillors who accused them of creating the “slums of the next ten years”.

A decision on the finer details of a project to build 299 homes at land in East Ardsley was put on hold as the South West Plans panel and Barratt David Wilson Homes & the Ramsden Partnership couldn’t agree to the layout, scale and appearance of the site at land off Bradford Road.

The scheme, in principal, was allowed at appeal following refusal by the council in 2014 and the outcome of the appeal was upheld by the Secretary of State in December last year.

However, members of the public and some councillors are still against the plans on the table with concerns over lack of infrastructure to cope with the demands of 299 new households, privacy, road safety and close proximity.

It is claimed a blind couple will have to get rid of their guide dogs as the development site is the only safe place they say they can exercise the dogs and there are also concerns over 120 homes not meeting government standards for space limitations.

Coun Mick Coulson said: “I am looking at a slum in ten years time. Everybody around this table doesn’t think it is sustainable - transport, schools, medical facilities.”

Leeds City Council doesn’t have a policy on space standards for proposed houses but is in the process of adopting government guidelines, which, planning officers said made it difficult to use as an argument against the developer.

Mark Jones, on behalf of the applicant, said there was little scope for re-working the plans as the landowner may pull out and go to another developer.

However, there are set to be further discussions over the siting of affordable homes, greenspace, design and size.

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