Agenda item

Application 17/07108/FU - Unit 8, Ashfield Works, Westgate, Otley

To receive and consider the attached report of the Chief Planning Officer regarding an application for the demolition of derelict buildings, conversion of former industrial buildings to retail and office use, construction of care home, retail units, six residential units and new pay and display car park.




The report of the Chief Planning Officer presented an application for the demolition of derelict buildings, conversion of former printing press manufacturing building to retail use, construction of care home, retail units, six residential units and new pay and display car park at Unit 8, Ashfield Works, Westgate, Otley.


The application had been deferred at the panel meeting held on 21 February 2019 for further consideration of various matters including traffic modelling, service vehicle arrangements and pedestrian routes.  Members had visited the site prior to that meeting.  Site Plans and photographs were displayed and referred to throughout the discussion of the application. 


Further issues highlighted in relation to the application included the following:


  • Details of the traffic modelling exercise.
  • Proposals to install a MOVA traffic light system.
  • Revisions to the plans to allow adequate turning room for refuel vehicles.
  • Arrangements for pedestrian movement between car parks.
  • Further to concern regarding the installation of plant equipment on the roof of the care home building it was reported that there was room within the roof space to do this.
  • There had been a further representation with concerns that part of the development would be obstructive to refuse collection.  There would be an additional condition to address this.
  • Development of the site would provide housing and employment opportunities, re-use historic buildings and regenerate the town centre.


The Panel heard from a local resident on behalf of Otley Town Partnership with objections to the application.  These included the following:


  • Reduction in parking time to 2 hours from 4 hours...
  • There was insufficient parking for the office development and retail units.
  • Concern regarding volumes of traffic and installation of traffic lights.
  • The MOVA system would not resolve traffic problems.
  • Poor access through the car park areas.
  • None of the existing tenants have yet been offered alternative accommodation.


In response to these concerns it was reported that the new car park hours had changed as there would be an impact on existing pay and display parking and that it was hoped for a turnover of customers at the retail unit and for it not to be used for longer parking. With regard to the traffic modelling it was reported that this was based on the site being fully developed.  The MOVA system would be installed to reduce congestion by comparing interaction of junctions and it was expected to provide a benefit with traffic movement.


The applicant’s representative addressed the Panel.  The following was highlighted:


  • The proposals had been developed following public consultation events and consultation with statutory bodies and the Town Council.
  • There were no objections to the highways and parking proposals.
  • The applicant was working with the Council to resolve issues for existing tenants.
  • The proposals would bring many benefits including improved permeability to the town centre, employment opportunities and a nursing home.
  • There was a right of way for the northern access through the archway to Kirgkate.


In response to comments and questions, the following was discussed:


  • Conditions to report – amendments to condition 3, provision of electric vehicle charging points and clarification of archaeological investigations to be carried out before work commences.
  • A request for car parking to be extended to 3 hours.
  • Concern with regard to stepped access between car parks and loss of open space for car parking.
  • Concern regarding the impact on highways particularly at Manor Square crossroads.
  • When the core strategy was adopted there would be 10% electric charging points with the infrastructure to install more at a later stage.
  • Members took a vote on how long car parking should be for and it was decided to keep this at 2 hours.
  • Archaeological investigation could be undertaken prior to each phase of the development.
  • The need for an additional condition for Bin storage and collection off Westgate Road and provision of Fire escape
  • Difficulties with installing a ramp between car parks 2 and 3.  It was felt that due to the convoluted design that pedestrians would still use the vehicular ramp.  There were alternative areas of access.
  • Concern as to how this scheme would contribute towards high street regeneration and also the high number of new housing in the local area and impact on highways.
  • Concern regarding the carbon footprint implications of this development following the Council’s announcement on climate change.
  • If problems occurred with signage for car parks this could be addressed with the car parks team and Ward Councillors.
  • The traffic modelling had looked at an area wider than the site.  It was acknowledged that there was congestions with traffic and there would be traffic growth.  The modelling carried out had taken account of a worst case scenario and the MOVA system would bring improvements.

RESOLVED – That the application be deferred and delegated to the Chief Planning Officer for approval subject to conditions outlined in the report and the following conditions:


Additional condition for Bin storage and collection off Westgate Road and provision of Fire escape.  Amendment to Condition 3 Typo on second line, electric charging points to be provided in line Core Strategy.  Condition 19 to be amended to ensure Archaeological investigation is carried out before each phase of development commences.



Supporting documents: