To consider a report by the Chief Planning Officer which sets out details of an application which seeks full planning permission for demolition of existing buildings and structures and outline planning permission with all matters reserved, except for access, for the redevelopment of the site for residential dwellings (use class C3), flexible commercial space (use classes A1, A2, A3, A4, D1 and D2) and associated refuse and plant infrastructure, landscaping, new public realm and open space at The Former Arla Foods site, 87 – 91 Kirkstall Road, Burley, Leeds, LS3 1HS
The Chief Planning Officer submitted a report which set out details of an application which sought full planning permission for the demolition of existing buildings and structures and outline planning permission, with all matters reserved, except for access, for the redevelopment of the site for residential dwellings (use class C3), flexible commercial space (use classes A1, A2, A3, A4, D1 and D2) and associated refuse and plant infrastructure, landscaping, new public realm and open space at The Former Arla Foods site, 87 – 91 Kirkstall Road, Burley, Leeds, LS3 1HS.
Site photographs and plans were displayed and referred to throughout the discussion of the application.
The Planning case officer addressed the Panel, speaking in detail about the proposal and highlighted the following:
· Site / location / context
· The site is in an area consisting of office use, light industrial use, warehousing, residential use and car parking.
· The site is a vacant brownfield site “L” shaped 2.07 hectares in size located to the south of Kirkstall Road (A65) with a frontage onto the River Aire
· The proposal is to demolish the existing buildings and structures and construct six blocks of residential dwellings and flexible commercial use totalling 631 units, the blocks ranging in height 7-16 storeys
· Supporting commercial uses at ground floor level
· Two access points onto the site via Kirkstall Road and Washington Street
· Flood risk assessment (Flood Zone 3) – nearby flood alleviation works
· Wind study
· Proposal for 242 car parking spaces
· Substantial landscaping provision
· Connectivity throughout the site
· Affordable housing provision 7% (44 units)
Members raised the following questions to officers/ applicants representatives:
· The access onto Kirkstall Road is shared with the adjacent office use, would the access still be adequate to serve both the proposed development and any future redevelopment of the office site with a more intensive use
· Members at pre-application stage raised concerns about the extent of surface car parking that was proposed. How had these been addressed
· How does the development fit in with neighbouring developments such as City Reach, would this site have a similar visual impact
· What was the cumulative traffic implications on Kirkstall Road and further out of the city centre
· Will a riverside walkway be provided.
· From this location, where would car users be travelling to
· What flood mitigation measures are being put in place
· What will be subject to the reserved matters application
In responding to the issues raised, officers said:
· The LCC Highway Officer said although this potential development scenario had not been tested, the large car park serving the existing office use had been taken into account in assessing the acceptability of the proposals and it was unlikely that any proposed redevelopment of the office site would have a greater impact on the highway network than the existing office car park
· The LCC Highway Officer said the level of car parking was set by what the developer considers they will need to meet minimum market demand. However, the fact that it was to be provided at surface level meant that its treatment could be adjusted to meet demand, if demand was low, further greenspace could be provided. The surface car parking could also be designed to include soft planting to provide a more attractive landscaped solution and would be screened by the proposed buildings.
· Members were informed that the nature and scale of the proposals would be in keeping with the more city scale developments granted consent along the Kirkstall Road corridor, such as at City Reach
· The impact of traffic generation further out of the city centre will be negligible. However, the LCC Highways Officer confirmed that an off-site highways contribution of £197,000 was being provided, which in conjunction with funds from other developments, would be used to fund new traffic management systems to assist traffic flow (Adaptive control) in the more immediate area. When questioned by Members if there were any major road improvement planned along Kirkstall Road, Members were informed that although there was no space along Kirkstall Road to carry out works to increase car capacity the funding that was being pooled was being put towards improving systems to manage the flow of traffic i.e. make more efficient use of the existing road capacity. Also the emphasis was now to encourage more public transport use and promote more cycling and walking rather than to increase road capacity.
· It was reported that along the southern boundary the riverside walkway would be continued/enhanced to link to adjacent sites with opportunity to provide a high quality landscaped setting along this public route.
· The Developers representative and highway officer acknowledged that although some people would use their cars to commute to work out of the city centre, due to the location of the site and availability of good public transport links from this site, car use into the city centre would be limited, but there was also a strong demand for vehicle parking in terms of vehicle ownership and not necessarily linked to vehicle use which was determining the level of car parking. It should be noted that the level of proposed car parking was only 38% of the total number of flats to be provided.
· In addition to the ongoing construction of the flood wall at 0.3m high the proposals had set minimum floor levels, not put in habitable accommodation at ground level, there are proposals for a drainage strategy through the site and a flood evacuation plan is proposed.
· The developer’s representative clarified that apart from the demolition of the existing buildings and the details of the proposed accesses to the site, all other matters would be subject of future reserved matters applications
In offering comments Members raised the following issues:
· The majority of Members expressed disappointment at the quality of illustrative architecture and information
· At reserved matters stage more clarification was required around the quality of the development and its placemaking credentials such as the proposed use of materials and the details of the architectural treatment, the layout and scale of the proposed flats, the details of sustainable construction and measures to reduce carbon emissions, details and extent of the public realm, provision of an attractive riverside setting, measures to deal with air quality and justification for the mix of accommodation type
· The was a need to mitigate against environmental impacts
· There was a need to understand further the implications on the wider traffic network
In offering comment the Chief Planning Officer advised Members that the principle of development had already been accepted through the adoption of the site allocation plan and the traffic issues referred to by Members had already been addressed within the adopted plan.
It was moved and seconded that the application be approved in accordance with the report recommendation.
Upon being put to the vote, the motion was passed unanimously
(i) That the application be deferred and delegated to the Chief Planning Officer for approval subject to the conditions specified in Appendix 1 of the submitted report (and any others which he might consider appropriate) and subject to the completion of a Section 106 Agreement to include the following obligations:
· Education Contribution – (indicative amount) £162,510.31
· Greenspace off site contribution - (indicative amount) £624,458.09
· Affordable Housing – 7% provision on site
· Employment & Skills co-operation / initiatives (construction)
· Provision of a bus shelter - £20,000
· Requirement for public access to and maintenance of all routes through the scheme and public spaces
· Off-site highways contribution - £197,000
· Travel Plan Monitoring Fee - £6,653
· Sustainable Travel Fund - £157,907.75
· Maintenance obligation for internal highway network in perpetuity
(ii) In the event of the Section 106 Agreement not having been completed within 3 months of the resolution to grant planning permission, the final determination of the application shall be delegated to the Chief Planning Officer.