By Kamile Banyte
Over 70 families could soon be homeless as their landlord wants to demolish their family homes.
Pemberstone submitted a planning application to demolish the prefabricated houses, which were built for miners in the 1950’s.
People living on Wordsworth Drive and Sugar Hill Close, in Oulton may be evicted if the landlord succeeds to get an approval from Leeds City Council.
In their planning application, the estate owner, says the properties would be replaced with the same number of houses. However, the company is proposing that only 15% would be available at affordable houses, leaving the majority of the LS26 residents homeless.
The community is devastated as some of the tenants have lived there for more than 30 years, and cannot imagine having to leave their beloved family homes as many elderly feel safe in their area.
Mavis Abbey, who has lived on the estate for 47 years with ex miner husband, said: “As an ageing resident the support of my neighbours, who I now count as friends, becomes more important every day.
“At the end of the day, a new home is not going to be here, it’s going to be anywhere. We don’t know who’s going to re-house us.”
Sadie Somers, a tenant, said: “I’ve planned my future around here and I don’t know whether that is now a possibility. It’s upsetting.”
In a letter of objection for the planning, Karen Bruce, Labour councillor for Rothwell says: “It will be impossible to find 70 replacement affordable rented homes for these tenants, and will be a great loss to the amount of affordable rented housing available for people on limited means.
“This proposal will widen inequality in the area, and disadvantage those who need affordable housing the most.”
Pemberstone’s planning application has galvanised the occupants into action. They have established Resident’s Action Group, where you can find them on Twitter using the hashtag #saveourhomesLS26.
You can also support their fight by signing their petition by clicking here: https://www.change.org/p/pemberstone-group-save-our-homes-ls26-1743b341-b3d0-486c-9fd4-8b71bedacc63