The Chief Planning Officer report provides Members with information in relation to an Appeal Decision Summary - 19/04950/FU - Development of 58 No.
apartments for retirement/lifestyle living exclusively for residents of age 55+,
associated communal spaces, access from Grove Lane and new Landscaping, Land Adj. Grove Park Care Home, Grove Lane, Meanwood, Leeds, LS6 2BG.
The report of the Chief Planning Officer presented the appeal decision summary for 19/04950/FU – The development of 58 apartments for retirement / lifestyle living exclusively for residents of age 55+, associated communal spaces, access from Grove Lane and new landscaping, on land adjacent to Grove Park Care Home, Grove Lane, Meanwood, Leeds, LS6 2BG.
Members recalled that this application had been considered at the North and East Plans Panel of 13th August 2020. The application had set out a recommendation that planning permission be granted. The Plans Panel resolved:
“To defer for an extension of time to be sought and, subsequently, further negotiations undertaken with the developers such that if this was proved to not be acceptable to the developers, to delegate authority to officers to set out reasons for refusal of the application based on the stated reasons for referral”
However, the applicant declined to extend the time for consideration and did not engage in further negotiations with officers. Planning permission was refused on 12th November 2020 for reasons set out at Paragraph 3 of the submitted report.
The applicant lodged an appeal against the refusal of planning permission and made an application for an award of costs against the Council as it was alleged that the Council had behaved unreasonably in refusing planning permission. The Inspector allowed the appeal and granted planning permission but refused the application for costs. The letters of the Inspector’s decision were dated 13th December 2021, these were appended to the submitted report.
Members were advised that the Inspector had considered the following points:
· It was considered that the size and self-contained nature of the site made an individual approach to development appropriate.
· The form, design and layout of the building, the landscaped setting, sloping topography and use of under croft parking would offset its visual impact from Grove Lane and nearby public footpaths.
· In relation to the site’s designation as an Urban Green Corridor, it was noted that the land is privately owned with no public access for recreation. It was concluded that the provision of a pocket park and improvements to an adjacent public right of way would be moderate enhancements to the function of the green corridor. There would also be an increase in bio-diversity gain.
· It was considered that the proposal would restrict views from public vantage points of the wider vista beyond the site and would cause moderate harm and conflicted with policies relating to the functions of the Green Corridor. It was also noted that the development conflicted with policies protecting the spatial and visual character of an area. However, the Inspector considered the proposal to be of an appropriate design. The design and layout of the building, the degree of separation and provision of landscaping would not cause unacceptable harm to the amenities of the nearest residents.
· Significant weight had been given to the provision of housing, including 9 affordable units and the specialist provision in meeting housing needs for older persons.
· The Inspector had also considered the appellant’s appeal for the Council to be awarded costs. In his decision he had concluded that the Council’s consideration of harm to amenity was not without foundation, that the Council was justified in considering the visual amenity function of the Urban Green Corridor and that the visual linkages between areas can be considered important. The Inspector had concluded that the Council had not behaved unreasonably.
Members comments included:
· It was noted that this application had been heard whilst in the pandemic, with meetings taking place on-line. There were no site visits during the pandemic with only one-dimensional drawings to assist Members’ decisions. One of the Members had visited the site on their own.
· It was the view of the Panel that site visits were an important part of the process.
RESOLVED – To note the content of the report.