To receive and consider the attached report of the Chief Planning Officer regarding an outline application for housing development (up to 61 units) including adopted highway access and associated external works.
The report of the Chief Planning Officer presented an application for housing development (up to 61 units) including adopted highway access and associated external works at Oldfield Lane, Upper Wortley.
Site plans were displayed and referred to throughout the discussion of the application.
The following was highlighted:
· Members were asked to consider the principle of development at this site and access. All other matters reserved for a future application.
· It was proposed to deliver 100% affordable housing on site.
· Pedestrian connections to the site.
· The site was allocated for housing and there were no planning reasons not to give approval.
· Vehicular access had been assessed by highways and there had not been any objections.
· There had been an objection from Sport England. The site had not been formally used for sports in the past ten years.
· There had been a significant level of objection regarding the principle of development even though the site was allocated for housing in the Site Allocation Plan.
· It was considered that there was sufficient existing education provision for the extra school places that would be required from this development.
· Further objections had been made by Ward Councillors.
· Objections included lack of school places, lack of green space, highways concerns, levels of anti-social behaviour in the locality and the siting of a gas pipe.
· There were no covenants on the land to retain sports pitches or open spaces.
· Members were reminded that the application was to consider the use of the land for residential purposes.
A local resident addressed the Panel with concerns and objections to the application. These included the following:
· There was a deficiency of land for sports provision in the area.
· The land had previously been bought by the people of Leeds for sporting use. It would be unethical to use it for development.
· The land was currently in daily use and evidence could be provided for this.
· The local community had been consulted and had said no to the development. They should be listened to.
· In response to questions, the following was discussed:
o The community had taken this site back into a usable site and had been used for informal sports provision.
o The site had previously housed a good quality football pitch and netball courts.
o Neighbouring areas were also deficient in grounds for sports provision.
o It was agreed that there was a need for more council housing but this should not be at the loss of pitches for sports provision.
A representative of the Council Housing Growth Team addressed the Panel. The following was highlighted:
· The land had been identified for housing. There would be provision of on-site greenspace and improved access along with enhancements to greenspace and sports facilities elsewhere within the ward.
· The proposed houses would be high quality and energy efficient.
· Where were no other council owned sites for this kind of development in this part of the city.
· There had been extensive pre-planning consultation and there had been some support for the scheme.
· There would be improvement to greenspace and access. Other existing facilities would be improved.
In response to comments and questions, the following was discussed:
· Detailed arrangements for future greenspace provision had not been made.
· There was a commitment to engage with local residents and other stakeholders.
· Ward Members had objected to the proposed use of the land for housing during the Site Allocation process.
· Sport England had acknowledged that they were not a statutory consultee as the site hadn’t been formally used for sports for a period of over 10 years. They did however refer to recent use by the community.
· There was a lack of greenspace in this and other areas but there was also a duty to provide housing.
· It was not yet known what the commuted sums for the provision of off-site contributions would be.
· The site had been used for sporting activities, just not on an official basis.
· The need to balance the weight of the Site Allocation Plan against that of the needs of the local community and the loss of greenspace against the provision of much needed affordable housing.
· The concerns and efforts of the local community were acknowledged but there were no planning reasons to refuse permission.
· There was a recognised need for council housing but this should not be at the loss of greenspace.
RESOLVED – That approval be deferred and delegated to the Chief Panning Officer – subject first to referral to Secretary of State following a request from the public and subject to the conditions outlined in the report (and any others which might be considered to be appropriate).