To consider a report by the Chief Planning Officer which sets out details of a
reserved matters application for the layout, scale, appearance and landscaping for 450 new homes, pursuant to Outline Application 16/02988/OT to Land off Lane Side Farm, Victoria Road, Churwell, Morley, Leeds.
Members considered a report by the Chief Planning Officer which set out details of a reserved matters application for the layout, scale, appearance and landscaping for 450 new homes, pursuant to Outline Application 16/02988/OT to Land off Lane Side Farm, Victoria Road, Churwell, Morley, Leeds.
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:
· Planning history of the site/ background
· Site / location / context (24.2 Hectares)
· Site surrounded by mixed residential character, various forms of red brick homes since 1930’s, other modern construction 1960/70.
· The proposal – Erection of 450 units, comprising of: 23 x Two bed apartments, 8 x Two bed bungalows, 102 x Two bed semi/ terrace, 125 x Three bed semi/ terrace, 84 x Three bed detached, 20 x Four bed semi/ terrace and 88 x Four bed detached (All properties compliant with space standards)
· Access via Victoria Road
· Future school development if considered necessary (portion of land offered by the developers)
· 3.8 hectares of usable open space
· Green corridors and networks throughout the site
· 2700m perimeter hedge including 400 trees
· High quality landscape scheme
· Proposed Section 106 Agreement to include Management Plan for Landscaping
· Housing Needs Assessment submitted by the developers
· Proposal is respectful of urban nature
· Scale and density of the site is acceptable
The Planning Case Officer reported the receipt of 86 further representations objecting to the proposal (since the publication of the panel report). However no new material planning considerations had been raised.
The Panel then heard from Mr Tom Leadley (Former Leeds City Councillor, current Morley Town Councillor) who was objecting to the proposal
Mr Leadley said he had not made formal representation about this application or it’s predecessor when he was a Member of the City Plans Panel whilst serving on Leeds Council. Mr Leadley said a good deal of progress had been made through negotiation, although criticism about house design remained outstanding. Mr Leadley said surface water run off was a major problem, the site was close to the top of a hill and close to a minor water shed. Flash flooding had occurred in the past, 2006 which had affected many areas in the Morley North ward, the most severe occurring in 2009. Members were informed that two years had passed since outline permission was granted, but since that time no viable drainage water management plan had come forward. Mr Leadley said it was important that such a plan was in place prior to determination of the application and requested Members to defer consideration until such time the necessary plan was in place.
Questions to Mr Leadley
· Could you give an indication of the drainage implications if not satisfactorily addressed?
· Had there been adequate consultation with residents about the proposals
· What would the consequences be if the proposed school was not built
· Members referred to paragraph 82 of the submitted report which stated “that the revised layout does not provide any additional drainage information” had there been further progress about this issue
In responding Mr Leadley said:
· Heavy rain/ storms result in flash flooding to the north of the Whiterose Shopping Centre and along the ring road. Millshaw Bank also floods, the Drysalters Pub has also experienced flooding. The service water run off requires addressing in advance of any development, it was suggested a separate planning application for the drainage requirements may be a possible solution.
· Some consultation had taken place but it was “generally patchy”
· Mr Leadley said it was his opinion that a new school would be required. There was already pressure on the existing Primary Schools in Morley and to transport children to schools in Beeston was not practicable due to the poor transport links from Morley.
· The developers were supposed to provide the additional drainage information, but it has not yet been provided. This is a critical site and such information is necessary
The Panel then heard from Mr Christopher Hull (Applicants representative) who was speaking in support of the proposal
Mr Hull said he supported the conclusions contained in the Chief Planning Officer’s report. The principle of development had already been established through the granting of outline planning permission and the site was allocated within the SAP as a housing site. The provision of land for a Primary School was included within the development. Responding to the climate change agenda Mr Hull said the development would include solar panels and air source heat pumps 10% across site, 88% on completion of the development. The site would also include 2700m of perimeter hedge including 400 trees. The proposed Section 106 Agreement would also include a contribution towards improvements to the highway network (£1.5m) there would also be a CIL contribution of £2m.
Questions to Mr Hull
· When is the additional drainage information going to be supplied?
· The energy efficiency measures, 88% once the development was completed, why not do all (100%)
· Electric vehicle charging points, would these be fitted in all properties
· Could the offer of land for the provision of a school be clarified?
In responding Mr Hull said:
· The proposals were currently being developed with the Council’s Main Drainage team and with Yorkshire Water
· The developers were committed to a step change and were working with the Carbon Trust to meet approved standards
· Mr Hull confirmed all properties would have electric vehicle charging points (100%)
· Members were informed that an area of land would be offered to the local authority following the completion/ sale of the 240th property
Members raised the following questions to officers:
· There was only one point of access to the site, was a second access considered, was the access arrangements policy compliant
· Referring to the Street Design Guide and the internal road layout, it was suggested that details of the pedestrian and cycle route were not included within the report
· The footpath/ cycleway adjacent to the highway was it buffered from the highway
· The proposed Primary School provision, would the school serve more than one development
· Pick up and drop off to and from the school could be problematic
In responding to the issues raised, officers said:
· It was clarified that the access arrangements were agreed at outline consent stage. The LCC Highways Officer said attempts were made to provide a second access but it could not be secured. As a result a short wide access had been achieved together with a second emergency vehicle access point in order to minimise any future adverse impact on the highway network. Although the access arrangements were not wholly in compliance with the Street Design Guide on the number of accesses, the arrangements were considered acceptable.
· The LCC Highway Officer said the Street Design Guide had been achieved for the remainder of the internal road layouts but detailed discussions around cycle links was still outstanding
· Members were informed that the footpaths were wide enough to accommodate both pedestrians and cycles and could be segregated if necessary
· Members were informed that children from outside this estate would have the opportunity to attend the proposed school
· Members were advised that details of the proposed school were not part of this application (at which stage the pick and drop off arrangements would be considered), but the site location is close to as many footpath links as possible to encourage local walking to the site
In offering comments Members raised the following issues:
· Members were of the view that the drainage issues were a major concern and should be addressed as soon as possible by the Panel and not by Officers under condition.
· Members expressed concern that the proposal for a Primary School may not come forward, in that event where would children from this estate go to school. Should a school be developed, there were further concerns about pick up drop off and parking in the vicinity of the school, further clarification was required around the provision of a Primary School.
· More information was required around biodiversity improvements, the report did not address this in the context of the climate change declaration
· Some Members expressed disappointment with the design of the development suggesting it appeared “ordinary”, could this be looked at further
· One Member suggested that several Planning Policies from the Core Strategy had been breached: space standards, housing density, electric vehicle charging, bin locations, and the site access arrangements were also non-compliant
· One Member said, “there were so many unknowns with this application, it would be a dereliction of duty to grant”
In drawing the discussion to a conclusion, the Chair said it was clear from Members comments that more work was required before this application could be determined
It was moved and seconded that the application be deferred for: further information on the drainage issues, further clarification around the provision of a Primary School, further details around biodiversity and climate change measures and further discussions to take place on design quality including the street scene.
Upon being put to the vote, the motion was passed unanimously.
RESOLVED – That the application be deferred for: further information on the drainage issues, further clarification around the provision of a Primary School, further details around biodiversity and climate change measures and further discussions to take place on design quality including the street scene.