Conservative MP criticises Leeds lighthouse plan

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A Leeds MP has suggested a council step in to help some local housing tenants instead of "wanting to build a lighthouse in the middle of the landlocked city of Leeds".

Cabinet minister Andrea Leadsom responded to the question from Alec Shelbrooke by questioning if Leeds City Council was planning on floods.

Leeds announced the plan to build a full-size lighthouse on the South Bank of the Aire as part of its bid to become the 2023 European Capital of Culture.

The council has indicated it will still go ahead with the lighthouse plan, despite the bid's collapse given Britain will be leaving the European Union.

Speaking at Business questions, Elmet and Rothwell MP Mr Shelbrooke said: "In the village of Oulton in my constituency a company owning 70 rented homes has put in for planning permission to demolish these and make them into private dwellings.

"On Friday I met with some of my constituents, who may soon be receiving eviction notices and requiring new homes.

"Could I ask for a statement from the housing minister to the power that Leeds City Council may or may not have to purchase these homes, instead of, and I kid you not, wanting to build a lighthouse in the middle of the landlocked city of Leeds?"

Commons Leader Ms Leadsom said: "That's an extraordinary tale. Whether they're planning on floods is anyone's guess.

"He is a strong champion for his community and he's raising a very important issue.

"I recommend that he seeks an adjournment debate, so that a minister can answer the specific concerns he has."