Kevin Pattison reports on a plan to build a block of private flats in the Little London area of Leeds, which has encountered the anger and opposition of local residents.
An angry public meeting in Leeds called by the Little London Tenants and Residents Association on Wednesday 20th March, discussed the proposal to build a 18 story block of private flats on a small green space.
Little London is near the city centre so developers are keen to build. The area already has 9 tower blocks with mainly council tenants and very few open spaces.
The development would require the removal of 51 trees which currently absorb CO2 from a nearby busy road.
The land is owned by Leeds City Council and the meeting called for the Council to oppose the development and not to sell the land.
To his credit, the local Labour councillor present at the meeting opposed the scheme. However, the Labour-controlled city council leadership has been selling off plots of land it owns around the city to private developers and it’s strategy in the face of year-on-year cuts from central government has been to prioritise developing the city centre as a ‘destination’ hoping to plug it’s finances with increased business rates, which have largely been illusory.
In the meantime the working class has borne the brunt of austerity, just last month in its budget the Council agreed above inflation rent rises for tenants in PFI built properties, many of which are in Little London.
The alternative no cuts budget drawn up by Leeds TUC for this year would be an excellent place to start.