To consider a report by the Chief Planning Officer which sets out details of a Pre-Application Presentation for two residential blocks at 26 and 31 storey’s high, comprising of 498 flats with car parking, landscaping and associated facilities to land at the former Doncaster Monk Bridge Works, Whitehall Road, Leeds, LS12 1BE (Latitude Phase Purple A (formerly Blue).
The Chief Planning Officer submitted a report which set out detail of a
pre-application presentation for two residential blocks at 26 and 31
storey’s high, comprising of 498 flats with car parking, landscaping and associated facilities to land at the former Doncaster Monk Bridge Works,
Whitehall Road, Leeds, LS12 1BE (Latitude Phase Purple A (formerly Blue).
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
· The site is located within the defined City Centre boundary
· Former Doncaster Monk Bridge Works
· Brownfield location (0.38 hectares)
· The site is relatively flat, however there is a gentle slope down to the Leeds / Liverpool Canal
· Maintain key views
· Emerging Masterplan
· The proposal – Two residential blocks 26 and 31 storey’s in height comprising 498 flats with car parking, landscaping and associated facilities
· Residential mix – 60 x Studio apartments, 175 x 1 bed flats, 225 x 2 bed flats and 38 3 bed flats (All space standard compliant)
· Parking for 22 cars and 372 cycles located in basement
· Ground floor active frontages
· Terraced levels/ roof terrace
· Connectivity through the site/ public realm, landscaping
· Level change down to the canal
· Pedestrian walkway along the canal
· Materials – Horizontal and vertical brick elements, pallet of materials to reflect existing buildings within the area
· Consultation – Five events in total, two public events, Council Officers and local Councillors, the Leeds Civic Trust also consulted
The Planning Case Officer reported the receipt of correspondence from the Directors of City Island Management Ltd representing a nearby residential development expressing concern at the lack of consultation, the proposed height of the buildings would be overbearing to neighbouring properties and would detract from the setting of nearby heritage assets. There was also insufficient greenspace proposed and no additional facilities such as GP surgeries, shops, childcare facilities to serve the increased residential population, the proposed development would result in further traffic generation and there would also be noise/ nuisance during the construction period.
Members raised the following questions to the developer’s representatives:
· What was the provision of affordable housing
· Was 38 x 3 bed flats considered sufficient
· The provision of 22 car parking spaces, was this sufficient
· What will be the approach to finishing materials
· Were there any play areas proposed and what would be the nature of the play space – formal or informal design?
· How was access gained to the cycle storage
· What was the size of the studio apartments
· Could a list of the tree species be provided to ensure they would have appropriate site planting conditions
· The 1 and 2 bed flats, was the demand still there for this type of accommodation without outdoor space
· The proximity of the canal to any proposed play areas, were there any safety proposals i.e. barriers
In responding to the issues raised the developer’s representatives said:
· Members were informed that the applicant proposed to meet the requirements for affordable housing in line with the Core Strategy Policy H5 and noting that a number of options were available to the developer for a Build to Rent proposal
· It was reported that following consultation the proportion of 3 bed flats had been increased to 7.5% to cater for family / sharing provision and based on the developer’s market research this was considered a sufficient level to meet anticipated need
· Members were informed that this was a sustainable location and cycling would be encouraged. The developers did not want to end up with a large empty car park.
· It was proposed to use a predominantly brick facing material
· The Architect said that informal play areas would be provided and incorporated within the landscape scheme
· The Architect said that although there was a change in levels the cycle storge was fully accessible with any stairs designed with a gulley access
· The Architect reported that a studio apartment was the same size as a one bed flat (less a wall) and provided more flexible space
· Officers confirmed that a list of the tree species would be appropriate for the site conditions and the planting and root system details could be considered at the planning application stage
· Members were informed that there was always demand for good quality purpose built rental accommodation
· Members were informed that the intention was to make outdoor space available to all and to not enclose any areas.
In offering comments, Members raised the following issues:
· Members were generally supportive of the proposals
· Members welcomed the creation of a community with no barriers
· The proposal for small windows in some of the apartments, could the justification for this be explained when the application returns
· Members were keen to see more details of the materials to be used
· More details were required around the carbon reduction measures
· There was a desire to see the inclusion of more 3 bed flats
· Members welcomed the provision of play areas but were mindful to the proximity of the canal and the need to ensure the safety of children
· Could further consideration be given to increasing the greenspace provision
In offering comments on the officers’ questions in the report:
· Members considered the proposed use of the site for residential
accommodation with the resulting loss of potential office space to be acceptable in principle
· Members considered the proposal to have more 1 bed and 2 bed units was acceptable in principle, but there was a desire to see more 3-bed flats and less studio apartments
· Subject to confirmation of detailed proposals Members were supportive of the emerging approach to residential amenity
· Members were supportive of the emerging proposals in respect of design, scale, form and detailing – Members requested to view sample panels when available and there was also a request to undertake a site visit when appropriate.
· Members were generally supportive of the proposed approach to landscaping, transportation and pedestrian connectivity subject to further consideration of increasing the open space provision for residents.
On the issue of site visits, the Chair suggested that it was envisaged that site visits would resume in the near future
The Chair thanked the developers for their attendance and presentation suggesting that Members appeared to be generally supportive of the development.
(i) To note the details contained in the pre-application presentation
(ii) That the developers be thanked for their attendance and presentation