Little London protest picnic staged over plans for 16-storey block near Leeds city centre

A fightback against a developer's plans to build a multi-storey apartment block by a "deprived" inner-city Leeds estate was waged in the form of a protest picnic.

Monday, 27th May 2019, 2:39 pm
Protesters in Little London. Contributed picture.

Little London residents yesterday set out tables and chairs, spoke to members of the community and put up banners opposing the removal of 51 mature trees to build the 151 flats planned by the Home Group.

The area's Tenants' and Residents' Association (TRA) said planning permission had been submitted for the 16-storey, private apartment block on the edge of the Carltons estate, on a small area of green space known as 'the Mound', which divides the homes from the busy Clay Pit Lane and the northern part of the city centre.

TRA chairman Steve Skinner today said: "Little London is deprived and densely-populated area of Leeds which desperately need public amenities such as parks, playground and raised bed allotments.

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Picnic protest against unwanted 'monster block'"We need them things but a private sector apartment building, which few people in Little London could afford live in, isn't the answer to our problems."

He said that the site is an important "buffer zone" between Little London and the city centre in terms of air and sound pollution.

"Leeds City Council has declared a climate emergency and the loss of 51 trees is the last thing that should be happening on our estate," he said.

Protesters at Primrose Circus next to the Mount won the support of residents, Mr Skinner said, who stopped and spoke to them during the picnic, and a handful of people signed up to the TRA.

"Our organisation is stronger," said Mr Skinner.

"We're all united. We are determined to carry on with the campaign."

The protest followed a series of meetings on the estate where people have voiced their anger at the plans and called on politicians for support.

More than 60 objections have been submitted on the council's online planning site and a petition is growing.

Kitson Keen, head of build to tent at Home Group, last week told the YEP: "We feel, beyond any doubt, that following engagement in the planning process, the plans we have submitted for Carlton Gate will truly enhance its surroundings and add real value to the Little London community.

The spokesperson added that 20 per cent of the homes would be offered at affordable rates.

“While we will have to reconfigure the current layout of the land the redesign will offer an attractive and much more usable green space and community hub - not only for those living in the homes but for those in the immediate and surrounding areas.

"Key to the development is that it is integrated into the community. Also, the space will be more bio-diverse than it is currently, with new and replacement planting throughout."