To consider the report of the Chief Planning Officer which provides a summary review of the outcome of consultation on the Site Allocations Plan (SAP) Housing Market Characteristic Areas (HMCAs) for the Outer North East (ONE) HMCA; and Gypsy and Traveller (G&T) sites. The report also addresses outstanding issues arising from the previous Panels on 14th and 28th June 2016; together with an overview including an outline of how the housing and employment targets set out in the adopted Core Strategy have been met.
Based on the outcomes and further technical work undertaken, a relatively limited number of changes are proposed, where issues raised are considered to go to the soundness of the Plan. The report outlines the scale of the consultation response and the focus of officer time on checking and inputting the representations received (into the database in a consistent manner), analysing the content of representations and undertaking further technical work, where necessary.
Additionally, as part of the review and analysis of representations, a number of factual and technical updates have also been made in relation to HMCA and site information. This includes updated planning application approvals (up to 5th April 2016), where in some cases proposed new allocations have become “identified” sites i.e. already benefitting from allocation or permission which establishes the principle of development in the context of the Adopted Core Strategy. These are detailed along with new site submissions for ONE.
Further to the meetings held 19th January; 10th May; 14th June and 28th June 2016 respectively; the Chief Planning Officer submitted a summary review of the outcome of consultation on the Site Allocations Plan (SAP) Outer North East Housing Market Characteristic Area (ONE HMCA); and city-wide Gypsy and Traveller sites. The report also dealt with issues which remained outstanding from the Panels held on 14th and 28th June 2016 and provided an update on how the overall housing and employment targets set out in the adopted Core Strategy had been met. Members had undertaken site visits prior to the meeting.
The report outlined the scale of the city-wide consultation response and included a breakdown of the 9644 responses received by HMCA which raised over 45,997 specific points. Appendix 1 of the report contained a summary of the response - the majority of representations were on housing proposals (26,508), followed by green space (8,815), employment (921), Gypsies and Travellers (844) and retail (14). The report highlighted that based on analysis of the consultation outcomes and further technical work undertaken; changes were proposed where issues raised were considered to go to the soundness of the Plan
The report included the following appendices:
Appendix 1 summarised the representations on each individual site in Outer North East
Appendix 2 - plans showing changes to boundaries of sites or new sites.
Appendix 3 set out the sustainability appraisal of new sites submitted
Appendix 4 set out a draft revised Section 3: Area Proposals: 6 Outer North East Publication Draft
In introducing the report, the Chair reiterated that all submissions received had been evaluated. Those raising comments on the soundness of the Plan were summarised in the report and all submissions were now available to view on-line. The timetable for consideration of the Plan through the Scrutiny process, Executive Board and submission to the Planning Inspector was detailed in the report.
During initial discussions the following comments were made:
- One Member provided an example of an instance where the full submission received from Historic England was not available on-line. Officers agreed to review the material on-line
- Clarified the Outer North East consultation on the proposals within the report would be held between September – November 2016
- There was no opportunity for Members to challenge the methodology used by officers to assess the submissions. Members were provided with assurance that all submissions had been properly considered and summarised. The Inspector would receive all the representations as submitted.
- The impact that the Secretary of State’s decision on the Grove Road proposals may have on the SAP
- Noted that although the Planning Authority continued to grant planning permissions for housing developments, developers were slow to commence works
OUTER NORTH EAST HMCA
The report referenced previous Development Plan Panel meetings in 2015 where Members considered potential development proposals across the ONE HMCA and the particular reasons why a different approach was considered appropriate in this HMCA. At that time, Members considered the Thorp Arch Trading Estate (TATE) and settlement proposals at Headley Hall, Bramham. Members recommended that a new settlement at Headley Hall should be supported and that TATE be allocated for employment use. This approach was agreed by Executive Board in July 2015 and formed the basis for consultation on the Publication Draft SAP.
However, shortly before the start of consultation, the University of Leeds as landowner withdrew the Headley Hall new settlement proposal. Public consultation was held - with the withdrawal of the Headley Hall site advertised to consultees and also proposed additional sites to remedy the loss of Headley Hall.
Consequently, the ONE HMCA remains one step behind the rest of the Plan and a further stage of consultation on a revised Publication Draft for ONE has been scheduled for a six week period prior to the pre-submission changes for the whole of the Plan being advertised for further comment.
The Group Manager, Policy & Plans, introduced information on each of the ONE HMCA proposals in turn for Members to consider. A large plan was tabled at the meeting to show the changes referred to in the report. The following key issues were discussed:
Policy SP10 of the Adopted Core Strategy provides strategic support for a new settlement proposal - this states that the focus for Green Belt release should be around the main urban area, major settlements and small settlements, but that
“exceptionally, sites unrelated to the Main Urban Area, Major Settlements and Smaller Settlements, could be considered, where they will be in sustainable locations and are able to provide a full range of local facilities and services and within the context of their Housing Market Characteristic Area, are more appropriate in meeting the spatial objectives of the plan than the alternatives within the Settlement Hierarchy. Otherwise review of the Green Belt will not be considered to ensure that its general extent is maintained.”
Two ‘like for like’ alternative new settlement proposals were submitted to the Council – land at Becca Hall (subsequently called Becca Home Farm) and land at Parlington Estate. The Thorp Arch Trading Estate was also submitted as a housing site rather than as an employment site (as was proposed in the Publication Draft Plan).
The contents of two representations received from D Locke (acting for Hallam Land – Becca Hall) and Pegasus Planning (HG2-124 Garforth) were reported to the Panel; advocating that the defined settlement should be considered in the context of a city-wide strategy.
Becca Hall Farm –
· A correction was noted to paragraph 3.17 to state that the original submission was made on time but the boundary of the site had been amended.
· The site comprised of three land ownerships.
· The possible impact on the green belt and Special Landscape Area (SLA) was acknowledged.
Parlington Estate –
· It was noted that this submission was made after consultation had closed.
· The site was capable of delivering up to 5000 dwellings with two employment areas and a local centre, in one-ownership and on private land with some historic assets throughout. Development of this sustainable site could meet Government ‘garden city’ proposals.
· The site was at the farthest edge of ONE.
· It was felt that views into and across this site were minimal and development would have less impact on the green belt.
· The site had a longstanding leisure/tourism allocation within the UDP although previous suggestions for a golf centre/holiday park were not completed.
· Promotion of this site acknowledged that Parlington lay within a very different area to Wetherby – the major settlement for ONE HMCA. As such, the Parlington development would need to be supported by other new sites to provide a balanced portfolio of housing options in ONE.
· Comment that this site would be car dominant due to its location and work with transport partners was needed to create sustainable transport links and possibly a new transport hub.
· The developable area was 160Ha of the total 770Ha site.
Thorp Arch Trading Estate –
· Although this site had been previously promoted within the Unitary Development Plan (UDP) and the landowner was keen to allocate the site for housing, no deliverable scheme had yet come forward due to the challenges on site. This site therefore was indicated for employment use.
· Recognition of TATE as one of the first out of town retail centres with greater emphasis on the substantial employment provided was required. In response to a request, it was agreed that allocation of the whole site as employment land would be considered and addressed in the report to be presented to Executive Board.
· Additional comments that the site presented significant contamination and remediation challenges were noted.
Site extensions to smaller settlements
Site extensions to smaller settlements in the area were previously discounted and officers presented a range of factors as to why they remained discounted when assessed against the proposals at Wetherby, the main settlement and Parlington, the new proposed settlement. This included infrastructure provision, character of existing settlements and need to identify replacement safeguarded land.
The Panel then turned to deal with additional opportunities identified as extensions to existing developments and smaller settlements:
HG2-20 Mercure Hotel – This site to be amalgamated with the adjacent site (HG2-224 Micklethwaite Farm) to provide the same total capacity and provide for more comprehensive development proposals.
HG2-26 Wetherby Road Scarcroft Lodge – It was noted that the original proposal for this site was as rural land. A reduced capacity of 100 units was now proposed due to the site requirements
HG2-220 Moor End, Boston Spa – There was local concern over the number of units proposed for Boston Spa. Members proposed that this site be removed as it is a green belt extension that given improved build out rates at Parlington would not be required.
HG2-223 Wike Ridge Lane, Alwoodley - A smaller element of a previously discounted site on the edge of the main urban area was proposed. There was local concern over the type of houses likely to be delivered on this site. Additionally, the Panel noted a concern over the treatment of the green belt boundary and assurance was sought that the development would not creep into the greenbelt. Highways concerns were also discussed. Members proposed the deletion of this site.
HG2-226 Land to the East of Wetherby – This proposed allocation was supported by Members. There was discussion around consequential amendments to the proposed green belt boundary, which was formerly rural land. Members agreed that the area to the north of the site should be proposed as green belt as in the Publication Draft SAP. Local ward Councillors raised concerns that the Young Offenders Institute to the south of the site was being proposed to be now amended from proposed green belt to unallocated land without any further justification by officers. Consequently this area has been retained as “washed over” Green Belt land as previously proposed in the original Publication draft SAP.
HG2-227 Wealstun Prison, Wetherby – Discussions were proposed to also reference the current permissible community use of this private site as there were no other recreation facilities nearby.
Further general comments were noted:
· Local ward Councillors supported the approach to provide a new settlement however there were concerns that the proposed build-out target of 1750 units was too low if the Parlington site was capable of delivering 5000 units. Additionally it was felt that 1750 units should be the baseline target with future developers encouraged to deliver more on site. The Panel therefore supported a suggestion to increase the Parlington allocation by 100 units to 1,850 units within the plan period. This also relieves pressure on smaller settlements.
· That, contrary to paragraph 3.32, local ward Councillors had not agreed the suite of sites proposed for ONE HMCA. Removal of the relevant sentence from the report was agreed prior to submission to Executive Board.
· Deletion of HG2-220 Moor End, Boston Spa (para 3.38(d)) and HG2-223 Wike Ridge Lane, Alwoodley (para 3.38(e)) was sought and broadly supported by the Panel.
The Group Manager, Policy and Plans, then introduced information on the public and privately owned GYPSY & TRAVELLER SITES in all of the HMCA areas city-wide for the Panel to consider.
General comments were made including:
- The definition of “pitch” to refer to one household, which may include up to 2 caravans and one amenity block with surrounding amenity space
- Under National Planning Policy Guidance, Leeds had established a need for 28 publically managed pitches
- The Gypsy and Traveller community had been invited to respond to the consultation
- The need to create a Leeds specific Guidance document for Gypsy and Traveller sites was recognised.
The following key issues were discussed:
Publically Managed Gypsy and Traveller Sites
HG7-1 West Wood, Dewsbury Road, Tingley – An increase of 1 pitch was proposed (total now 5). A local ward Councillor reported concerns over Japanese Knotweed and flooding on the site.
HG7-2 Land to the South of Tong Road, Wortley - An increase of 1 pitch was proposed (total now 5). Objections to the principle of the use of the site, rather than its’ expansion, had been received. The support of the Council, as landowner, was also reported. It was felt that this site was significantly screened. Highways, Environment & Housing and Land drainage responses stated that issues with the site could be overcome. Concerns over whether there was sufficient space on the site to deliver an additional pitch; access to the site; the use if the site as a pedestrian route to local schools and impact on three local historical buildings were expressed. It was reported that the Head of Housing Support had confirmed the Tong Road 0.57 Ha site would support another pitch (totalling 5 pitches, plus amenities). It was agreed that officers would measure the site to ensure that a 5 pitch site could be feasibly accommodated prior to the proposal being considered by Executive Board.
HG7-3 Bullerthorpe Lane, Temple Newsam – Proposed removal of this site was in response to comments received from Historic England over the possible harm caused to Grims Ditch, plus access concerns and the cost of provision of a safe route to local services. The deletion of these four pitches necessitated a review of where the four could be re-allocated in the city.
Safeguarded Gypsy and Traveller Sites
HG6-1 Cottingley Springs, Gelderd Road – An additional 2 pitches were proposed bringing the total to 43 for this site. Internal re-modelling was required with the possibility that adjacent green belt could potentially be relied upon to provide amenity space.
It was noted that previously, the Secretary of State had refused expansion of the site.
Members noted that Planning Policy Guidance suggested a total of 15 pitches on any site. Concerns were expressed about the impact of expansion on the peaceful co-existence of residents and that evidence suggested that smaller sites reduced the potential for challenge.
The response that site expansion at Cottingley would respond to existing unmet demand was also noted.
HG6-6 (Ninevah Lane, Allerton Bywater) – Agreed deletion of site for Gypsy use and consequent expansion of adjacent site for settled housing. A Member commented that the removal of this allocation did not necessarily remove the need. Officers confirmed that the Gypsy Needs Assessment was a specific assessment which enabled the close scrutiny of local needs.
New Site Suggestions
HG6-14 Old Telephone Exchange, Coal Road, near Shadwell – Comments on poor accessibility and screening of the site were noted. The Highways Officer reported that the nearest bus stops on the A58 were over the 400metre distance suggested in the Guidance. Members did not agree that the site should be taken out of the Green Belt and were concerned about access to services. They agreed that a temporary / personal planning application would be preferable to an allocation given the brownfield nature of the site.
(Councillors C Gruen and R Lewis left the meeting at this point)
The Local Plans Team Leader then outlined OUTSTANDING HMCA ISSUES from the meetings held on 14th and 28th June 2016 respectively. Turning to previous concerns over the development of larger schemes, the intention to create development/planning briefs for larger schemes was noted. A correction to paragraph 5.4 to indicate “larger sites over 750 homes” was reported (rather than 700 stated in the report) however there was debate over the figure of 750 as some Members felt 500 to be more appropriate. It was noted that other sites of less than 750 homes could also require a planning brief, if they were deemed to be sensitive by Members and could be included within the DPP work programme.
HG2-230 LCC Depot Henshaw Lane, Yeadon – During discussions it became clear that the current users of the Depot had not been aware of the proposed re-allocation of the site and did not have a management plan for the removal and relocation of services currently based there. Members took the view that this site was not currently available for allocation however if it became available it would be regarded as a “windfall site”. In order to progress matters, it was proposed that further discussions would be held with the site users and LCC Asset Management prior to submission to Executive Board. If the matter remained unresolved at that point, the site would be deleted.
MX2-26 Kirkgate Phase 2 – As non-residential uses were more likely to be achieved, the Panel broadly supported the proposal to remove this site for housing
HG2-119 Red Hall Offices and Playing Field – Members considered and agreed a proposal to amend the site requirement to say “On site green space provision to be determined through the Planning Brief”.
HG2-203 Manston Road (capacity 103) – Reference was made to paragraph 6.12 of the report which showed a city-wide surplus of 11.21ha of general employment sites. In light of this, and the fact that the adjacent site was already developed, a local ward Councillor advocated that retention of this site for housing was unreasonable, due to the scale of proposed housing in the area. A mixed use on HG2-203 to include an element of leisure/retail/employment with a green buffer would be desirable. The Panel broadly supported the suggestion to retain an element of employment on the site, with a preference for a mixed use (employment/leisure) allocation.
HG2-211 Burley Liberal Club – The report that Sport England is a statutory consultee on land used as playing fields in the last 5 years was noted. Discussions clarified that, as the site had not been used as playing pitches for 9 years, Sport England would not provide a comment on the proposal. Following a vote, the recommendation in the report was agreed
HG1-60 and HG2-217 Tile Lane, Eastmoor, Adel – A meeting had been held with the architect representative of the Local Neighbourhood Forum and a local ward Councillor. It was reported that their main aim was to seek de-allocation of HG2-18 (Church Lane) and HG2-38 (Dunstarn Lane) through the allocation of more units on Tile Lane.
Although the increase of provision on Tile Lane was supported, the removal of Church Lane and Dunstarn Lane was not. A comment regarding the willingness of officers to increase allocations but not work with communities was made
HG2-41 South of A65 from Horsforth and Rawdon roundabout to crematorium – Comments received from Historic England and Horsforth Town Council were reported. The plan included within the report (at page 171) was draft, subject to agreement with Historic England, but gave an indication of sensitive areas of the site. Additionally, a planning brief would be created in conjunction with local ward Councillors.
Concern was expressed that the indicative site plan did not refer to future proposals to widen the road for the Airport Link which would utilise some of those areas marked as sensitive.
Additional general comments were made about where within a site boundary the Planning Authority would expect development to take place – Members felt that developers would develop everywhere within a boundary – thus sensitive areas would not be protected without an indicative development line within the site boundary. One member queried when planning briefs for those sites requiring one would be ready for DPP members to view, and expressed concern that any submitted to Executive Board would not have DPP approval.
HG2-236 – Former West Park Community Centre, capacity 69 (formerly HG5-
2, school designation) – Amendments to the site boundary were reported
Outer North West
HG2-14 East Chevin Rd, Otley – As the landowner was not seeking a change to the current use; it was proposed to delete the site for housing. It would not therefore be presented to Executive Board as part of the Plan.
HG2-18 Church Lane, Adel – 87 units were proposed with the north-west boundary extended to provide an access point.
Some Members did not support the proposal to include an area of green belt to facilitate access to the development and sought to identify which Policy would support this approach. Discussion on whether deletion of the green belt element would invalidate the site followed and the highways officer confirmed that the site could be accessed to the south, through another development.
The Panel broadly supported an amendment to remove the green belt element of the proposal.
MX1-26 East of Otley – The proposals to increase the housing allocation capacity from 550 to 800 and decrease the employment on site was not supported. Members did not support the wording within the report, with an acknowledgement that more could be achieved on site, guided by a planning brief.
The Panel supported a suggestion to amend the wording of paragraph 5.19, sentence 4 to read “It is therefore recommended that the UDP figure of 550 units is retained.”
(Councillor R Lewis joined the meeting again at this point)
Outer South East
HG2-133 Ninevah Lane Allerton Bywater - As a consequence of Gypsy and Traveller site HG6-6 being deleted, the proposal to extend the housing allocation to include this land was supported.
Outer South West
Extension to HG2-171 Westerton Road, East Ardsley – A request for the site allocation boundary to follow the field boundary was agreed by officers. Comments on the two distinct parts of this site in separate ownership were made – one brownfield and ready to develop, the other a greenbelt area which was mooted for a Phase 3 release, and should be dealt with separately. The response that the overall allocation afforded the opportunity for a comprehensive development plan was noted.
HG2-76 Hough Side, Pudsey and new site at Spring Lea Farm, Troydale- Further representations had been received from both site owners. The owner of HG2-76 had stated the site provided stabling for horses with the remainder being a smallholding, rather than a riding school/employment site as discussed at Panel on 28th June 2016. The owner had confirmed the site was suitable for housing.
A local ward Councillor reiterated his understanding that HG2-76 operated as a market garden offering employment to 6 persons and expressed concern that a development here would damage views across the site. In comparison, he felt that a development at Spring Lea Farm would be more sustainable, with access more viable than the view expressed in the report by the Highways Team in the report; and provide an opportunity to provide parking for Post Hill. A different view was expressed by another local ward Councillor with regard to site access, existing parking for Post Hill and the suggestion to double the size of the Troydale community which would impact further on the greenbelt.
Following a vote, the Panel supported the recommendations contained within the report to retain housing allocation HG2-76 Hough Side Pudsey and not allocate land at Troydale.
HG2-58 Airedale Mills – The outcome of an ecological assessment was reported along with the implication of the swing-bridge. A reduced allocation of 5 units was now proposed although the landowner believed 69 units on site was possible. It was noted the proposed units would be reported as 5 to Executive Board – unless new evidence was presented to support an increase.
The Principal Planning Officer, Policy and Plans then outlined DEFERRED RETAIL ISSUES (CITY-WIDE)
Kirkstall Town Centre – No change was proposed to the allocation
Wellington Street Local Convenience Centre –
- A new centre boundary was proposed and agreed
- New wording to follow paragraph 2.24 of the Site Allocations Plan, to read, “Evidence that would demonstrate such changes in shopping patterns could include data relating to changes in vacancies and footfall within the surrounding area, as well as changes in use classes within the surrounding areas.".
- Insert a new paragraph after 2.13 to read “It is recognised that through the General Permitted Development Order that some changes of use within Protected Shopping Frontages may not require planning permission. However, all proposals requiring consent will be subject to the relevant policies.”
Holbeck Local Centre Boundary: The boundary was amended to include the local community centre.
Merrion Centre – A revised site plan was tabled showing proposals to reduce the north side frontage.
St John’s Centre – Receipt of further correspondence from the owner reiterating their desire to remove the protected shopping frontages was reported, however no change was proposed.
Finally, officers drew Member’s attention to paragraph 6.4 of the report which recognised the impact of the Government’s recent decision in respect of NGT and the need to amend site requirements for some sites where reference was made to NGT and the need to review East and ONE HMCA.
In respect of overall housing allocation numbers, one Member commented that the city-wide over-allocation of 2091 was unsound and had not been agreed by Members. Discussion followed on the need to provide flexibility in numbers (above the target of 66,000) which in turn provided opportunities for a suite of housing proposals across the city.
a) That, having considered the overall consultation outcomes summarised in the report, the discussions held at the meeting and the revised Publication Draft plan for Outer North East together with updates to the sustainability appraisal report for Outer North East, the Panel recommend to the Executive Board that the revised Outer North East HMCA Publication Draft chapter of the Site Allocation Plan is approved for a period of 6 weeks public consultation (in Autumn 2016) – with the exceptions being those matters listed below for action or amendment:
i. HG2-227 Wealstun Prison, Wetherby – further discussions with the Chair and Legal Services were proposed to consider the greenspace designation of the site with reference to the current community use of the site
ii. The Parlington allocation to be increased by 100 units.
iii. Paragraph 3.32 to be amended to remove the sentence stating that local ward Councillors had agreed the suite of sites proposed for ONE HMCA.
iv. HG2-220 Moor End, Boston Spa to be deleted
v. HG2-223 Wike Ridge Lane, Alwoodley to be deleted
vi. Gypsy and Traveller site HG6-14, Coal Road near Shadwell, to be deleted
b) That the outstanding proposed pre-submission changes to the remainder of the Site Allocations Plan be agreed – with the exceptions being those matters listed in c) below
c) That the following matters be progressed and reflected in the report to Executive Board as follows:
· HG2-230 LCC Depot Henshaw Lane, Yeadon – further discussions to be held with the site users and LCC Asset Management - If the matter remained unresolved at that point, the site to be deleted
· HG2-203 Manston Road – a mixed use (employment/leisure) allocation to be proposed
· HG2-14 East Chevin Rd, Otley to be deleted
· HG2-18 Church Lane, Adel to be amended to remove the greenbelt element of the proposal
· MX1-26 East of Otley – to amend the wording of paragraph 5.19, sentence 4 to read “It is therefore recommended that the UDP figure of 550 units is retained.”
d) That, the proposed pre-submission changes to the policies and allocations for Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople be agreed with the following exceptions:
a. HG6-14 The Old Telephone Exchange, Coal Road, near Shadwell – this site to be deleted
b. HG7-2 Land to the South of Tong Road, Wortley – a management plan be drawn up prior to submission to Executive Board
e) That the Development Plan Panel recommend to the Executive Board that the proposed pre-submission changes for the remainder of the Plan (except for Outer North East) are approved for pre-submission advertisement (in February 2017), prior to the submission of the Plan for independent examination
In respect of b); c); d) and e) above, Councillors B Anderson and J Procter required it to be recorded that they abstained from voting on these matters.
In respect of the HG2-76 New site at Spring Lea Farm, Troydale and Hough Side Pudsey in the Outer West HMCA, Councillor Coulson required it to be recorded that he voted against this matter