To consider a report by the Chief Planning Officer which provides a Position Statement in respect of an application for residential development of 151 dwellings with community use area, café, gym, residents lounge, outdoor amenity area and roof terraces to land east of Carlton Gate and North of Clay Pit Lane, Leeds
The report of the Chief Planning Officer set out a position statement for a residential development of 151 dwellings with community use area, café, gym, residents lounge, outdoor amenity area and roof terraces at land east of Carlton Gate and North of Clay Pit Lane.
Members had visited the site earlier in the day. Photographs and plans were shown throughout the presentation and discussions.
Members were informed that this position statement followed an earlier pre-application presentation which had been considered by Panel Members on the 14th June 2018. The scheme at that time had been for 160 apartments consisting of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom units. This latest version presented a split level development up to 17 storeys providing 151 units of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments with communal facilities.
The Chair emphasised to Members that the matter was coming before Panel as a position statement, but giving the opportunity for Members to comment upon and give a ‘steer’ on the direction of travel for the overall development proposed at this site.
The site is Council owned and it was noted that discussions have been ongoing since the initial pre-application scheme was submitted in December 2017 and has been the subject of various amendments.
This latest version was to address the scale and massing of the previous proposals.
Members were advised of the following points:
· This site features a bund which is used to mitigate sound from the ring road;
· The area is residential with a number of tower blocks to the east of Lovell Park Road and South of the inner ring road;
· The buildings around the development site are of a similar size and height;
· Viability assessment of the District Valuer concludes that the scheme presented cannot viably support more than 12.5% of the units for affordable housing, although the developer is initially proposing 20% of the units be offered as affordable units under flexible rent mechanism;
· This site is a legacy site which was part of the regeneration of Little London and has been marked for housing on the Site Allocation Plan (SAP);
· The bund would be used as part of the development with robust landscaping and would provide a usable space for residents of the area including new tree planting;
· All the trees on the site would be lost with the exception of the lime tree;
· The proposal was for 3 frontages one to Clay Pit Lane, one to Lovell Park Road and one to The Circus;
· The glazing would be used to alleviate the massing of the building which had different levels and parts of the building were to be in-stepped;
· Undercroft parking for 20 vehicles;
· Proposal for a village hall which could be used by the wider community;
· Cycle parking;
· Further work on the wind assessment was required to be undertaken before full planning agreed as concerns had been raised in relation to the wind effects on Clay Pit Lane and Lovell Park Road.
Cllr. Ahktar a local ward councillor and a local resident (Mr Skinner) who was a member of the Tenants and Residents Association attended the meeting and informed the Panel of the following:
· Concerns raised in relation to pollution, noise and lack of green space in the area;
· There are 9 tower blocks already in this area, such that further private residential dwellings are not required;
· The green space referred to as ‘the mound’ is used by the residents of the area, as well as providing a ‘buffer zone’ against the busy ring road;
· The Tenants and Residents Association had undertaken a survey door to door of local residents views and most were fearful and angry at the loss of ‘the mound’;
· Nobody has been consulted;
· There is a petition which is ongoing;
· Tenants are frustrated at the lack of green space in this area, which can negatively impact on health and wellbeing;
· Pressure on schools already with 80 languages spoken at the local schools;
· Would prefer a play area in this location.
Andrew Windress, the agent attended the meeting and informed the Panel of the following:
· This site had originally been part of PFI and the regeneration of Little London, such that the proposal will complete the ‘vision’ for the area;
· The ‘unique’ nature of the project and delivery model proposed for the site;
· The site has been allocated for housing by 2023 and, as such, it has long been envisaged that there will be a major residential development on this site;
· The principal of the development on the site has already been established by way of the SAP
· The developers could be on site within 3 months if approved;
· Affordable Housing is currently 12.5% to make the development viable at this stage, which is 75 units, however there would be potential to increase this if the markets changed and to bring in-line with policy requirements;
· The developers have worked with officers to arrive at this scheme presented to the Panel;
· Consultation had taken place in the form of consultation events and letters to residents;
· The developers had tried to address some of the objections;
· The scheme would provide much needed housing in this area;
· Proposal to plant trees to replace those as currently stand on the site in accordance with Council policy requirement ratio;
· The scheme would probably have a low yield of school age children, therefore it is the view that the existing local schools would be able to absorb the number of children.
The Panel discussed the following points:
· The housing mix and space standard provisions;
· Loss of all but one of the trees including many mature trees, and the length of time that it would take for the replacement trees to mature and have the same carbon reduction benefits;
· Climate emergency in relation to planning and the need in the future for this issue to be referenced in planning reports;
· Declaration of the climate emergency and the need this creates for this proposal in particular to be looked at afresh, particularly in terms of greenspace and sustainability (during construction and long-term);
· Design, construction and quality of this scheme;
· Potential overshadowing and wind issues that could be caused by the development as proposed;
· Loss of ‘the mound’ and the impact on the community in relation to noise, pollution and greenspace;
· SAP and the 7 year land supply;
· Need for affordable housing in this area;
· Importance and scarcity of greenspace in or adjacent to the city centre.
RESOLVED - The Panel was of the view that this scheme as currently formulated was not acceptable, raising in particular concerns about the loss of the landscaping mound and all (but one) of the mature trees on site, as well the scale, design and sustainability credentials of the development. Potential impact from the wind was also raised as a concern, in light of the wind modelling undertaken to date. Members requested further information about the affordable housing model that had been proposed and that the scheme proposed be reconsidered in light of the above comments and concerns.
Cllr. Shemilt left the meeting at 15:10 during this item.