To consider the report of the Chief Planning Officer which sets out details of an application which seeks planning consent for residential development and ancillary flexible commercial space (use class A1, A2, A3, A4, B1 and D1) on land at Ellerby Road and East Street, Cross Green, Leeds
The Chief Planning Officer submitted a report on planning application 19/02081/FU Full Planning Application for residential development and ancillary flexible commercial space (use class A1, A2, A3, A4, B1 and D1) on land at Ellerby Road and East Street, Cross Green, Leeds
Members were informed of the following points:
· The report was brought to Panel to update Members because it related to a change in the affordable housing position that was considered on a major planning application in the City Centre that proposes a sub-policy position on affordable housing due to financial viability considerations.
· The application had been approved at City Plans Panel on 2 September 2021 subject to the completion of the Section 106 legal agreement.
· The Section 106 Agreement had included an obligation for affordable housing provision of 18 discounted rent (80% of market rent) flats on site subject to an overage clause upon practical completion of the development. The applicant had offered to increase the number of affordable units up from 5% as proposed to a potential maximum policy compliant position of 20% should the viability of the project and market conditions improve, and subject to an updated viability appraisal. This would have formed part of the Section 106 legal agreement.
· The applicants had now advised they cannot agree to an overage clause as envisaged. This was due to increases in construction costs, changes in policy for the mandatory fitting of sprinklers and misting systems in this type of development which would add to the cost of delivering this scheme.
· Members were advised that overage clauses can be offered and accepted by the Council but were not required by adopted planning policy and were not insisted on.
District Valuer- Brian Maguire was present at the Plans Panel and informed the Panel of the following points:
· This scheme had initially been looked at in 2019, when the applicant had offered 18 affordable discounted rent units and an overage clause within the context of Member support for a denser scheme.
· Notwithstanding the applicant’s offer the District Valuer was of the opinion that it was optimistic at the time.
· Since then discussions had taken place between the District Valuer and the applicant on the overage clause, but no agreement could be reached on the profit levels. The applicant wanted the overage to be triggered by a 15% profit on cost whilst the District Valuer is of the view that the trigger should be the same as the original viability appraisal i.e. 8% profit on cost
· However when appraised in 2020, construction costs had escalated and even with a profit level of 8%, the District valuer was of the view that it would be difficult to provide 18 discounted rent affordable units and therefore the overage clause requirement is unlikely to realise any additional affordable units in this case.
Responding to a question the District Valuer was of the view that 12 discounted affordable rent units would be his estimate of a financially viable position if costs remained the same.
RESOLVED – To defer and delegate to the Chief Planning Officer for approval subject to the conditions specified in the submitted report.
It was noted that Cllr Brooks voted against the recommendation.