After over 2 years of campaigning, the residents of Woodsworth Drive and Sugar Hill Close have seen the plans to demolish their homes voted unanimously down by Leeds City Council’s planning committee.
Iain Dalton, Leeds Socialist Party
Their campaign has seen them fight against their landlord, Pemberstone, who sought to replace their homes with ‘luxury’ housing for sale.
The last two years have seen meetings and protests taking place opposing these proposals culminating in a fifty strong lobby this afternoon of the planning committee.
Despite the planning committee having a labour councillor as chair, it took immense pressure for a representative of the tenants to be allowed to allowed to address the meeting.
But it is this relentless campaigning, including demonstrations, lobbies and meetings, that has seen them feature extensively in local and national media which has forced the council to reject these proposals.
As leading campigner, Cindy Readman told us “We’re very surprised it was a unanimous decision as beforehand we didn’t have any indication. We started to feel more confident as the meeting went along but never expected it to be unanimous.”
“We do believe Pemberstone will appeal this decision, but we also believe the planning committee were trying to make it as watertight as possible. We hope they take on the recommendation that the houses are refurbished.”
“I think social media helped our campaign an awful lot. It connected us to so many other groups going through similar things.”
“What I would say to other tennants facing this situation is don’t give up, the little people can win, we’ve proved it. Get organised and don’t be afraid to ask for help.”