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TENANTS of 70 former miners’ homes near Leeds said today that they were preparing for another battle against a property developer who wants to replace their community with luxury accommodation.
The firm was refused a planning permission in October after almost three years of stress and uncertainty for residents.
But it is now appealing to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to demolish the estate at Oulton, outside Leeds, to replace it with accommodation that local residents have said is far beyond their financial reach.
The developer, Worcestershire-based Pembletons, has claimed that the miners’ houses had “exceeded their expected lifespan.”
Campaigning under the name LS26 SaveOurHomes, after their postal district, the residents have backing from the National Union of Mineworkers and Leeds SaveOurHomes campaign.
Campaigner Cindy Readman has lived in her family’s home on the estate for 15 years and brought up three children there.
She told the Morning Star: “We knew that Pembleton had six months to appeal, but they wouldn’t give us any indication of what they were going to do.
“After not getting planning permission they did a survey, but wouldn’t tell us what it was for.
“Then they gave notice that they were putting in an appeal just before the end of the six-month deadline — they more or less took it to the wire.
“We want to be involved at the appeal and give evidence, not let it get lost in legal issues.”
The group has launched an appeal for funds to pay for legal representation.
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