To receive a position statement regarding an application and a listed buildings application for conversion of mill buildings, demolition of Listed Buildings to provide 30 dwellings and the construction of 82 new dwellings (112 dwellings in total) with associated access and landscaping
Councillor Campbell left the meeting at 16:10 at the start of Item 10.
The Plans Panel were requested to consider and comment on the report of the Chief Planning Officer which set out a position statement on planning and listed building applications for conversion of mill buildings, demolition of listed buildings to provide 30 dwellings and construction of 82 new dwellings (112 dwellings in total) with associated access and landscaping at Stonebridge Lane, Wortley, Leeds.
Members were advised that this report was based on a draft alternative layout which had reduced the number of new build properties by 16 and increased by 2 conversion units retaining buildings 10 and 11. Members noted that the proposal for the conversion element was to vertically divide the existing buildings to provide house rather than apartments. It was also noted that it was proposed to retain both the stone water tower and mill chimney which exist on the site, and part of the mill pond, and adjacent stone walls and cobble surface.
The Panel was advised that the applicant had confirmed that they were not proposing any S106 contributions as the applicant had raised viability as a reason why the application should be granted despite no S106 contributions. This had been detailed at point 9 of the submitted report. The Panel acknowledged that there would be widening of paths to nearest bus stops with real time bus information.
Representations had been received from Leeds Civic Trust, Councillor Ann Blackburn, Councillor David Blackburn and 5 objections from members of the public.
Members were advised that the representations from Leeds Civic Trust had been received prior to the revised plans. It was considered that all issues raised had been addressed by the revisions.
· Development is over-intensive
· All the mill pond should be retained
· Protection of the natural site
· Chimney and water tower should be retained at full height
· Cobble surfacing to be retained
Members discussed the listed buildings on site and the water levels of the mill pond. It was noted that Environmental Health services should be consulted with regard to the mill pond and whether it had ever flooded.
Mark Finch the applicant was in attendance at the meeting to answer Members questions.
Mr Finch provided the Panel with the following information:
· This was an accessible and sustainable site;
· The site would be good for families in the area;
· It is a complicated site and hope to be on site next year;
· Parking had been proposed for at least two cars per household;
· Heritage houses would be priority for the site.
Members were advised that this applicant had also redeveloped Wortley Primary School, photographs were shown. It was also noted that they had redeveloped York Road Library, the Majestic building and were soon to be on site at the White Cloth Hall.
Members had further discussions which included the following points:
· The boundary which was to be saved as part of woodland. Members were supportive of this and were advised that there would be a retaining wall to stop residents extending their gardens into the wooded area;
· Would like to see affordable houses on the site and requested a viability appraisal;
· To consider the layout of parking some Members were in favour of parking to the front of properties;
· Recycling of as much of materials as possible;
· Applicant requested to consider accommodation within the water tower as it was in good condition.
RESOLVED – To note the content of the report and provide feedback on the following questions:
1. Do Members accept the proposed demolition of the Listed Buildings? Members accepted the part of the listed building was to be demolished.
2. Do Members accept the quantum of new build properties and consequent amount of frontage parking within the scheme? Members would be acceptable to the scheme but asked for parking issues to be looked at.
3. Do Members accept the layout which leaves the wooded area along the north-eastern boundary un-development with no public access, to protect its ecological value and promote bio-diversity? Yes
4. Do Members accept the conclusions of the District Valuer?
5. Do Members wish to express any comment at this time if an updated viability statement is submitted for a revised scheme (with fewer new build properties) should result in a nil or reduced contribution towards affordable housing?
6. Do Members accept the non-provision of the sought after highway and public transport contributions?
It was noted that questions 4 – 6 could not be answered at this time. However, Members made the following comments:-
· Members of the panel were on the whole in favour of the proposal;
· Members accepted the proposed demolition of the Listed Buildings;
· Members accepted the quantum of new build properties and design but had some reservations with regard to frontage parking;
· Members accepted and endorsed the retention of the woodland directly to the North of the site as a bio-diversity area. Members wanted to ensure via a condition or 106 that the area was not subsumed at some later date into the gardens;
· Members remained to be convinced by the submission of a revised viability appraisal (reflecting the housing numbers now proposed), about nil or reduced contributions if a revised viability statement was provided making the case;
· Members requested the clarification on the retention of the tracks as on site the agent did not seem aware they were shown on the plans as he was suggesting they could be moved to the POS.
Councillor Wadsworth left the meeting at 16:35 during discussions on this item.