241 homes on Leeds ‘flood risk’ site approved despite almost 300 objections

The rooftops of the terraced houses in Holbeck.
The rooftops of the terraced houses in Holbeck.
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PLANS for 241 homes on a former factory site in Leeds which, it is claimed, is at risk of flooding have been approved by councillors despite almost 300 objections from locals.

Leeds City Council’s North and East Plans Panel approved the proposals for homes, open space, landscaping and drainage works at the former Stocks Blocks site, off Ninelands Lane, Garforth.

A meeting at Leeds Civic Hall heard the site had previously been used for “heavy industrial” purposes and had ongoing flood-risk issues which could be made worse by the development.

There were also concerns about infrastructure shortages, and claims the traffic-heavy area is already at permanent risk of “gridlock”.

An original decision on the scheme had been deferred for more information to be gathered from Yorkshire Water in relation to the capacity of the drainage and sewage system and its ability to cope with the demands of the proposed development, as well as for more information on flooding issues.

The meeting heard, however, that the proposals included a “very robust system” for collecting water.

Planning panel member councillor Brian Cleasby said he still had “great concerns”, telling developers Stocks Bros and Redrow Homes: “Garforth has a flooding problem.

“Are you trying to convince us that you can solve the problem of this site - [or] are you going to simply shift that problem to another part of Garforth?”

Representatives for the developers told the meeting that - according to requirements ont hem - “we don’t need to make the situation any better, we just have to not make it any worse”, but added that “we are, from our scheme, making it better”.

The planning panel voted through council officers’ recommendation, which had said the development would “positively contribute to the city’s overall housing requirements and bring back into active use a brownfield site in a sustainable location.”

But Garforth independent councillor Mark Dobson slammed the decision, citing the town’s ongoing traffic issues and being “brought to a standstill”.

He added there was “no infrastructure to accommodate this”.

PIC: PA

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