DEMOLITION work at Guiseley's former Silver Cross pram factory will begin this spring after planners finally approved a redevelopment.

The Woodford Group, which has been trying to get permission for its housing and office scheme for 18 months, says the first task will be to clear all the old buildings from the site.

Following the demolition, expected to take place within two months, the company will embark on decontamination work to make the land suitable for 85 homes and an office block.

The project will see 40 two bedroom flats, 38 three bedroom homes and seven, two bedroom properties built.

Although a majority of Leeds Plans Panel (West) voted to allow the redevelopment last Thursday, serious concerns were still raised.

Objector Mike King, of Renton Avenue, Guiseley said: "I object to the current proposal along with 65 other residents.

"The scheme is better than previous ones in terms of both density and the positioning of the main bulk of flats.

"But I'm concerned about the social housing. While I welcome the mixture proposed it's wrong to lump it all together at the furthest point from the green space and the main entrance, it gives the impression of a modern day ghetto.

"However my main concern is that there's inadequate parking proposed -- 135 spaces in total -- particularly for the social housing and this will cause problems on surrounding streets.

"The site must contain sufficient parking provision to ensure no over-spill. Since October we've lost nine dwellings from this scheme but we've also lost 34 parking spaces!"

Councillor Ted Hanley said: "The ghetto bit concerns me as well. It would be better if it was split up. But as for the parking problems it seems a reasonable question where will visitors park?"

Councillor Graham Latty (Con, Guiseley and Rawdon) said: " think Mr King has a valid point about the over-spill onto Back Lane.

"I wonder whether we might get a parking restriction to make it prohibitive to use Back Lane because I can see a problem there and it's not a road that can cope with any more."

Coun Janet Harper went further. She said: "I'm concerned we've not had answers about the parkingand I'd like them before I feel content to vote."

But Councillor Brian Jennings responded angrily to any suggestion that a decision should be deferred.

He said: "I'm amazed at what I'm hearing. This scheme has been before this panel at least five times over 18 months. This is something that should have been raised and tackled a year ago."

And a representative for the Woodford Group was quick to remind the panel that they had deemed the plan acceptable at their last meeting.

"You felt very comfortable when you saw the details," she said. "Ward members, I assume, will be aware that there have been very considerable problems with vandalism on this site and only the other weekend there was a severe fire, five homes had to be evacuated.

"It's been an ongoing problem and I would plead that we really need to get on and get this scheme developed for everybody's benefit."

The panel agreed to grant approval with a condition attached to monitor parking levels on Back Lane so a traffic restriction order funded by the developer could be put in place if needed.

Speaking after the meeting, Woodford Group Land Manager Stuart Mapp said it would be a relief to finally get started.

As for the parking condition, he said: "We're happy enough with that. We've said in the past that we'd help them with entering into a traffic regulation order if required.

"We're programmed in to start on demolition as soon as we can, but the actual land remedial work we can't do until we get the planning approval notice."