To consider a report by the Chief Planning Officer which sets out details of a pre-application presentation for proposed two residential Build to Rent (BTR) buildings, one purpose-built student accommodation building and one Aparthotel (including offices) building with public realm, and outline planning proposal for an office building, at the Former International Swimming Pool Site, Lisbon Street, Leeds.
The Chief Planning Officer submitted a report which sets out details of a
pre-application presentation for proposed two residential Build to Rent (BTR) buildings, one purpose-built student accommodation building and one Aparthotel (including offices) building with public realm, and outline planning proposal for an office building, at the Former International Swimming Pool Site, Lisbon Street, Leeds.
Site photographs and plans were displayed and referred to throughout the discussion of the application.
The applicant’s representatives addressed the Panel, speaking in detail about the proposal and highlighted the following:
· Site / location / context as the former Leeds International Swimming Pool site
· The site is a Council owned site, located within Leeds City Centre, approximately 1.12 hectares in size.
· The site is bounded to the east by Little Queen Street, to the south by Castle Street, to the west by Lisbon Street and to the north and west by a signed cycleway, with the Leeds Inner Ring Road (A58) situated beyond the cycleway to the north west of the Site.
· Existing vehicular access to the site is gained from Lisbon Street to the west and Castle Street to the south. Pedestrian access is via two access points along Little Queen Street, along the extent of Castle Street and along the cycleway to the north and west of the Site. Lisbon Street connects to Wellington Road to the south of the Site which provides access to the A58.
· The proposal is for two residential Build to Rent (BTR) buildings, one purpose-built student accommodation building and one Aparthotel (including offices) building with public realm, and outline planning proposal for an office building
· Total of 629 build to rent flats: 1x bed = 315, 2 bed = 272, 3 bed = 42
· Commercial units at ground floor level
· It is intended the new buildings will respond to the local heritage assets
· New landscaping/ greenspace would be provided including a new public square
· The existing footbridge would be improved with new steps and a lift
· The applicants propose a shared pedestrian and cycleway provision along the frontage to the Inner Ring Road with a new landscaped buffer
Members raised the following questions to officers/ applicants representative:
· How would pedestrians and vehicles access the site
· The Aparthotel, if it was not commercially successful, could the building be converted for other uses
· Would all flats/ apartments meet the required space standards
· The bridge landing suggests the provision of steps or possible lift, was a ramp considered
· What was the timescale for the development
· For pedestrians using the footpath adjacent to the A58 (Leeds Inner Road) the air quality would be poor, could a substantial contribution towards a quality green buffer be provided.
· Why was the number of 3 bedroomed apartments apparently low (7% provision)
· Would a wind study be undertaken
· Given the layout of the different blocks, there was potentially increased shadowing
· It was important that play space for children was provided
· Given the proximity to the A58 could consideration be given to the use of materials which would be resistant to staining (vehicle emissions)
· Night-time safety and security was a concern
· Could it be explained how it was intended carbon emissions would be reduced (Core Strategy Policy EN1 and EN2)
· Why was the affordable housing requirement being dealt with by commuted sum,
In responding to the issues raised, the applicant’s representatives advised as follows:
· Members were informed the existing vehicular access to the site was from Lisbon Street to the west and Castle Street to the south. Pedestrian access was via two access points along Little Queen Street, along the extent of Castle Street and along the cycleway to the north and west of the Site. Lisbon Street connects to Wellington Road to the south of the Site which provides access to the A58.
· The applicant confirmed the apart-hotel building could be modified to residential or other appropriate uses
· Members were informed that all flats/apartments would be designed to meet or exceed the minimum space standards set out in the NDSS and Core Strategy Policy H9
· The applicant reported that the bridge landing was outside the site boundary, but discussions were ongoing with LCC Highways to identify the most appropriate solution
· Members were informed that it was intended that a planning application would be submitted next month, and if granted the development could begin in the autumn.
· The applicant reported that there were many constraining factors for this site, the proximity to the A58 was one of them. It was reported that discussions were currently ongoing with LCC Highways who were seeking a 5m shared cycle/ pedestrian route, while the developer preferred a 4m shared cycle/ pedestrian route with a greenspace/ vegetation buffer
· The applicant said the number of 3 bedroomed apartments was in line with other build to rent schemes, providing fewer 3 beds apartments allows the scheme to be viable.
· The applicant confirmed that a wind study was being undertaken
· The applicant accepted there may be increased shadowing, but it will be modelled and will be within acceptable levels
· Members were informed that children’s play space(s) would be created within the public realm provision
· The applicant suggested that suitable robust materials would be used in the construction process
· Members were informed that the development would provide new natural surveillance from active frontages and include a lighting scheme. CCTV was operational throughout the complex and there was also a management scheme for the site.
· The applicant reported that for the offices and the Apart-hotel, it was intended to achieve BREEAM Excellent standard. The applicant had also committed to future-proofing the development for connection to the District Heating Network by allocating space in plantrooms and for pipework in the event that the network serves this part of the city.
· Members were informed that it was policy compliant to do it this way.
In offering comments, Members raised the following issues:
· In general Members welcomed the design suggesting it was attractive and elegant
· Some Members considered the proposed 53 car parking spaces was inadequate
· Some Members considered the proposed public realm provision was not user friendly and should cater for all age groups
· Members were of the view that it was important to establish a substantial green buffer between the A58 and the shared footpath/ cycleway
· Some Members raised raised concern about the lack of a direct connection between the footbridge and the central public square and beyond to Little Queen Street. Members considered that the bridge improvements should include a ramp that meets modern standards as well as steps and a lift so there were options, in the interests of accessibility and safety
· Members were of the view that it was important to establish play space(s) for children together with outdoor exercise equipment
In offering comments on the officers’ questions in the report:
· Members consider that the proposed use of the site for residential,
office, hotel, student accommodation uses and public greenspace was
appropriate in principle
· Members were supportive of the emerging public pedestrian routes through the site, there was however, some concern about the lack of a direct connection between the footbridge and central public square and beyond to Little Queen Street.
· Members were supportive of the emerging appearance and scale of the proposed buildings and the relationship with the surrounding context
· Members were broadly supportive of the emerging approach to public realm, landscape and trees, but it needs to be more user friendly for residents.
· Members considered the service provision at the site to be satisfactory. On the proposed level of car parking, some Members supported a low level of car parking, however some were of the view that car parking provision should be increased.
The Chair thanked the developers for their attendance and presentation suggesting that Members appeared to be generally supportive of the development subject to the above comments.
(i) To note the details contained in the pre-application presentation
(ii) That the developers be thanked for their attendance and presentation