WDH residents 'could die' if new homes are built in Pontefract, meeting told

The homes would have been built here, on a site near Pontefract Tanshelf Station.
The homes would have been built here, on a site near Pontefract Tanshelf Station.

Bus fumes and the sound of horns have ended plans to build social housing in Pontefract.

Wakefield District Housing (WDH) wanted to build 22 new homes on an industrial estate near the town's Tanshelf Station.

But neighbouring coach company Poppleton's objected to the idea, claiming that residents "could die" because the running of their bus engines would cause a health hazard.

They also said that the development could infringe on their own property.

At a planning committee meeting on Thursday, councillors accepted those arguments and refused permission for the homes to be built.

Representing the company at the meeting, Nigel Poppleton said that his bus drivers were legally bound to test their horns before driving, potentially causing a 110 decibel noise during the early hours of the morning.

He added: "The background noise of the engines running is 80 decibels. That's what happens from 5am onwards.

"I don’t want to be sat before an inquiry in years to come because people have died from smoke fumes. We’ve got to look at the worst case scenario."

Asked by one councillor whether he cared more about the negative impact on his business or on the residents, Mr Poppleton replied: "As any reasonable human being would, it’s the residents.

"The land you can argue about and sort out but you can’t make somebody better if they’ve been made poorly through inhaling fumes.

"It’s not likely to happen, but it could happen."

Nobody from WDH appeared at the meeting to speak in favour of the application, and all but one councillor voted to refuse the plans.

Councillor Kathy Scott said: "I’ve got real concerns about this.

"There will be families living here. You can’t stop children playing out, on bikes, on scooters and running around there.

"We’ve got to think about these kids’ lungs. They’re still developing and we’ve got to think about that."

Local Democracy Reporting Service