Residents to stage Leeds city centre protest over plans to demolish their homes

A protest is being held in Leeds tomorrow as residents lobby the city council to reject plans to demolish their homes.

Saturday, 29th June 2019, 12:17 pm
The Wordsworth Drive area of Oulton where plans have been proposed to demolish homes.

Pemberstone (Oulton Properties Ltd) has applied for planning permission to demolish 70 homes in Oulton but a final decision was deferred last month by city planners following a meeting that was packed out with objectors to the scheme.

Tomorrow (Sunday) from 2pm, the protest will be in front of Leeds Art Gallery where objectors, Save Our Homes LS26, will be demonstrating and protesting against Pemberstone's plans hoping to show, using artistic methods, the damaging impact they feel the plans will have.

Leeds Sisters Uncut, are leading the fight and say they "demand that Leeds City Council rejects this planning permission and stands up to big business, for the people and the environment".

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Plans were aired more than two years ago to demolish the homes on Sugar Hill Close and Wordsworth Drive and replace them with 70 new ones - plans show 11 would be classed a "affordable".

The houses were built to house coal miners following nationalisation of the coal industry in 1947, so date back to the 1950s. Pemberstone argues that they are outdated and beyond economical repair.

However, there have been objections to the scheme from councillors, MPs, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and Leeds Civic Trust among others.

Leeds Civic Trust said: "The houses represent the largest number of externally unaltered post war “Airey” homes remaining in the UK and as such must be regarded as a rare group of non-designated heritage assets of both local and national significance.

"The surviving estate constructed by the National Coal Board in the 1950s shows no sign of structural defect but their group value, pleasant location and settled community represents a fitting legacy and tribute to a major Leeds industrialist whose pioneering house design and construction method helped Britain recover during the post war period."

Rothwell councillor and Leeds Liberal Democrats leader Stewart Golton branded the development “social cleansing".