To receive and consider the attached report of the Chief Planning Officer regarding an application for phased erection of industrial/warehouse buildings with ancillary office space with associated access, car parkling, servicing pedestrian infrastructure, drainage infrastructure, landscaping and associated works.
The report of the Chief Planning Officer presented an application for the phased erection of industrial/warehouse buildings with ancillary office space with associated access, car parking, servicing, pedestrian infrastructure, drainage infrastructure, landscaping and associated works at Leeds Valley Park, Savannah Way, Rothwell, Leeds.
Site plans and photographs were displayed and referred to throughout the discussion of the application.
The following was highlighted:
· The site had an undeveloped area of land and was adjacent to the M621. There was a public right of way to the side of the site.
· There were areas of green infrastructure to the boundaries of the site.
· Details of the public rights of way and proposed revisions.
· Access to the site would be from Savannah Way. Each unit would have serving areas and car parking.
· There would be a number of highways works as part of the Section 106 contribution.
· Proposed landscaping. There would be the loss of 40 trees but these would be rplaced at a ratio of 1:9.
· Biodiversity contribution – there would be a contribution of £244,750 to be delivered in the Hunslet & Riverside Ward.
· CGI images of the proposals were shown.
· There would be a clause in the Section 106 agreement to seek local employment opportunities.
· It was recommended that the application be deferred and delegated to the Chief Planning Officer for approval.
The Panel heard from an objector to the application on behalf of the owner of the office block adjacent to the site. The following was raised:
· The introduction of warehouse and distribution would significantly change the use of the park which had focused on high quality office accommodation.
· Road safety – there would be a high volume of HGV and LGV vehicles and this would compromise the safety of other users of the park including cyclists and pedestrians.
· There was concern regarding the extent and efficiency of the landscaping.
The applicant’s representative addressed the Panel. The following was highlighted:
· This would be a high quality industrial logistics development and be of economical benefit to the city. It would provide a high quality visual and environmental benchmark.
· Road safety – the applicant owned the road. It was designed for HGV vehicles and was wider than a standard road and could accommodate cyclists.
· The proposals would create up to 500 jobs.
· It was expected that the development would be fully occupied within twelve months of completion.
· There was enhanced pedestrian and public transport connections to and through the site.
· Provision of cycle storage and electric vehicle charging.
· In response to questions, the following was discussed:
o The road was designed for HGV traffic and speed reduction measures were in place.
o There were specified cycle lanes.
o It was proposed to plant 40 mature trees with 4,000 square metres of woodland scrubland mix.
o Existing trees had been assessed as low value. Hedgerows would be retained and enhanced and there would be new hedgerows. There would be a significant benefit.
In response to questions and comments from the Panel, the following was discussed:
· The Public Right of Way No 5 was subject to a diversion order which was yet to be completed. There would be a pedestrian crossing at the end and access to the footbridge over the M621. There would also facility for cyclists. Funds for Public Right of Way would be used for resurfacing to make it more suitable for cyclists and pedestrians.
· The biodiversity contribution would enable biodiversity neutrality to be achieved. There was no requirement for a biodiversity gain in this instance. On balance it was felt that other factors including the use of an allocated site for employment and the tree planting ratio supported the recommendation for approval.
· The Section 106 agreement would include a clause to encourage the employment and upskilling of local people.
· Concern that there was no physical segregation between the bridleway/public right of way and the road. This would be discussed further with the applicant and added by condition if necessary. It was felt that there was sufficient space within the site to do this
RESOLVED – That approval be deferred and delegated to the Chief Planning Officer subject to the conditions outlined in the report (and alteration to or addition of any further conditions as deemed appropriate) and the completion of a Section 106 legal agreement in respect of the planning application within three months from the date of resolution unless otherwise agreed with the Chief Planning Officer to include the following obligations:
1. Off-site contribution of £244,750 towards biodiversity units in Hunslet & Riverside
2. Commitment by the developer/Management Company to maintain the proposed access and internal private roads in perpetuity
3. Contribution amounting to £76,000 towards Rothwell 3 PROW improvements
4. Contribution of £20,000 provision of real-time bus information to bus stops 45025408 and 45011647 (Leeds Valley Park)
5. Contribution of £57,000 to A61 corridor sustainable infrastructure improvements, including identified packages/schemes for A61 Wakefield Road/Wood Lane, A61 Leeds Road/Sharp Lane/Copley Lane and A61 Leeds Road/A654 Thorpe Lower Lane/Leadwell Lane
6. Travel plan review fee of £7573 should be included with the Section 106 agreement subject to a 3% increase annually on 1st April
7. Travel plan measures £20,000 to cover a range of potential eventualities regarding the effectiveness of the Travel Plan
Also the bridleway to be separated from access road after discussion with PROW and highways. This could be shown on an amended plan or added as a condition