Think again - that was the message given to councillors yesterday about a scheme to build 560 homes at a former hospital.

Leeds Plans Panel (West) had been advised to approve the controversial plans - despite more than 650 letters of objection from people who live near the former High Royds hospital in Menston.

But at a packed planning meeting, passionate speeches were made against the development by ward Councillor Graham Latty and Pudsey MP Paul Truswell.

Mr Truswell said: "The local community realises that there has to be some development on this site and many of the proposals are praiseworthy.

"But this scheme is out of all proportion to what the area can absorb."

Warning that the plans would lead to a huge growth in traffic and put strains on an already struggling rail network Mr Truswell said: "This application is not a sustainable development, it cannot be sustained."

Many other panel members including Councillor Stuart Andrew (Con, Aireborough) echoed those concerns.

Councillor Andrew said: "It's just too big, nearly 600 homes is just too much and is really out of proportion to what the community can offer."

Other panel members questioned whether the introduction of schemes by the developer, the Raven Group, to encourage public transport use, including providing free Metro tickets, were only red herrings.

The panel had been recommended by planning officers to approve the plan, which would see the site's grade II listed buildings preserved and converted and its 203-acre grounds landscaped.

In an officer's report, the Raven Group was praised for introducing measures to tackle problem areas. Those included:

l creating 139 affordable homes.

l making £1.25 million of improvements to the A65.

l providing a railway station shuttle bus on site.

But nearly every councillor who spoke raised objections to either the traffic impact of the scheme or its sheer scale.

Panel chairman Eileen Moxon agreed to defer the decision until next month's meeting, when further traffic management proposals would be presented.