Green light for Pudsey housing plan – despite concerns over impact on neighbouring family

An aerial shot of the proposed development site.

By John Baron

Councillors have voted to approve plans for new affordable homes in Pudsey – despite concerns about the impact building the development could have on a seriously ill boy who lives nearby.

Mum Emma Thornton fears dust generated by the building of 50 new affordable homes and four apartments on a greenfield site off Owlcotes Road could prove fatal for her six-year-old son George, who has been battling a rare form of cancer – Adrinocortico carcinoma – since September 2019.

As reported by WLD yesterday, Miss Thornton had asked developers Leeds Federated Housing to move the two houses closest to them away from their house, but they refused – despite medical professionals saying the dust from the development could severely affect George’s fragile health.

Miss Thornton said George, who is receiving palliative care, is immune compromised, has undergone several major operations to remove tumours over the past four years. He has one kidney, no adrenal glands, had half his liver and gallbladder removed and has adrenal insufficiency (a life-threatening condition) due to having no adrenal function. George has reduced lung capacity due to having dual lung surgery to have tumours removed.

Detailed plans for the proposals already had permission in principle, but the application was brought back to plans panel at the request of Councillor Andrew Carter (Cons, Calverley & Farsley) following planning officer’s negotiations with the developer over this issue.

Much of this afternoon’s debate on the plans at the south and west plans panel was held in private due to the sensitivity of the issues affecting the family.

When the meeting was opened to press and public again, Councillor Dan Cohen (Cons) said he could not support the application due to the impact on the family. He felt Leeds Federated should have done more to help the family. A proposal to refuse the application was defeated 10 votes to three.

Cllr Raymond Jones said it would have been helpful for all councillors on the committee to have had a site visit. Cllr Penny Stables said it was ‘an incredibly difficult’ decision but felt Leeds Federated had ‘gone quite a long way’ to resolve most of the issues and Cllr Nkele Manaka did not feel ‘there is anything more we can get out of this’.

Other conditions discussed included landscaping, appearance and layout of the development.

The applicant has agreed to screen dust from neighbouring properties including the use of sprayers that are automatically triggered by dust, means of dust particle monitoring and other dust suppression measures. The development will not be allowed to start before 1 January 2025.

A council report says the development exceeds the minimum spacing standards for properties.

Councillors agreed an extra planning condition of using equipment of measuring dust emissions to a level of 2.5 microns.

Councillors then voted by a majority to approve the application.

A council planning officer’s report considered by councillors concluded: “The proposal is in accordance with the existing site allocations, and this was afforded very significant weight in consideration of the outline application. This is such that the proposals here are bringing forward the Reserved Matters of appearance, landscaping, layout, and scale for consideration and determination by members. 

“The personal circumstances and sensitivity of the family who have been the subject of the Equality Impact Assessment have been carefully and fully considered through this application and as described in this report, the scheme has been amended, and further mitigation proposed, to reduce the impact of this development on this family.”

The agenda and council documents for next Thursday’s Leeds Civic Hall meeting (1.30pm) can be read here.


  1. This is disgraceful, the poor family, shame on the uncaring councillors who approved this, Pudsey in general is becoming a run down shell of its former self Too many places , shops being allowed in Pudsey as well that are ruining the lookbof the town centre, trashy looking barbershops, vape shops galore now and foreign shops selling counterfeit baccy , cigs and vapes , kids vandalising every night, but nothing getting done, talk about apathy, are local people all sleep walking , not caring, until something affects them


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