To receive and consider the attached report of the Chief Planning Officer regarding an application for the demolition of existing building and erection of a ten storey building, comprising ClassE(a) retail floorspace at ground floor, commercial floorspace falling under Class E(a)retail, (b) food and drink, or (d) indoor sport and recreation on the basement floor, purpose built student accommodation (sui generis) on floors one to nine, with associated communal facilities in the basement and ground floor, outdoor amenity space, plant and cycle parking.
The Chief Planning Officer submitted a report for the demolition of existing building and erection of a ten storey building, comprising Class E(a) retail floorspace at ground floor, commercial floorspace falling under Class E (a) retail, (b) food and drink, or (d) indoor sport and recreation on the basement floor, purpose built student accommodation (sui generis) on floors one to nine, with associated communal facilities in the basement and ground floor, outdoor amenity space, plant and cycle parking, at 140-142 Briggate, Leeds LS1 6LS.
Members had visited the site earlier in the day and were shown photographs, and CGI’s at the meeting.
The Panel were informed of the following points:
· The application related to the redevelopment of the House of Fraser store on Briggate, involving the demolition of the existing 1950’s building.
· Pre-application proposals were presented to a Consultative Meeting of City Plans Panel on 21st December 2021. At the meeting Members confirmed the principle of the use as acceptable and that the scale and form of the development was generally acceptable, subject to details regarding materials.
· The primary entrance and reception to the purpose-built student accommodation would be onto Central Road with student social and amenity space extending along most of the frontage.
· A greater part of the basement would be used for commercial uses such as retail, food and drink or leisure uses, with the primary access for this area from a ground floor access from Central Road. Part of the basement would be used to support the student accommodation, containing bike and bin storage, plant, laundry, gym and cinema room.
· The massing of the building would reduce progressively with increased height above ground floor level.
· The purpose-built student accommodation would contain 238 bedspaces in a mix of 3-8 bedroom clusters, each cluster served by its own dedicated kitchen /living space. Also proposed are 131 self-contained studio rooms which would be distributed around the building. Communal facilities would be focused at, basement level, ground floor level and first floor level. Areas of external amenity space would be provided at first floor level as well as level 8.
· The proposed Briggate elevation would reference elements of the attached listed building.
· Members were shown samples of the proposed materials.
· It was noted that any issues raised by the HSE would need to be addressed before the application is determined.
The applicant’s agents and consultants were present at the meeting to respond to Members questions.
In response to questions the Panel were provided with the following information:
· The tree on Central Road would be saved and a survey would be undertaken to ensure that the tree was not damaged during construction. It was the proposal for seating to be provided round the tree as part of the proposed external amenity space with additional benches towards Kirkgate.
· It was noted this area would remain a parking free zone, with only blue badge parking available. There would be a management plan for drop off and pick up at the beginning and end of the academic year. Services access would be maintained as they are currently for House of Fraser.
· Specialists had been engaged with in relation to heritage and conservation of the surrounding area and buildings. Lighter materials would be used at the highest parts of the building, to limit the impact of the scale and massing of the building. The scale and mass of the building was as presented at the meeting in December 2021. The Council’s design consultant was in agreement with the developers, saying they had engaged with officers working hard to reduce the mass of the building by using stepped levels, so the building was not towering over the street. It was noted that the developers had engaged with the Civic Trust and comments were included as part of the submitted report.
· Central Road would have extensive improvements made to ensure that students and visitors to the area felt safe and secure.
· Members acknowledged that a condition would be placed on the developers to ensure that the area surrounding the new building would be left in a good condition.
Members comments included:
· The proposed development would be an improvement on what is currently on this site.
· The Central Road public realm proposals need to be reconsidered to provide a more attractive and legible pedestrian area and more comprehensive surface treatment.
· It was the view of most Members that the proposed development although taller than surrounding building was not too impacting due to the in stepped levels and light-coloured materials.
· The proposal blends nicely with the existing listed building.
· As people exit the Trinity Centre this proposed building would be nice to look at.
The Chair recognised that some members had concerns with the mass of this proposed building but gave praise to the developers and the architect for the design.
RESOLVED – To defer and delegate to the Chief Planning Officer as set out in the submitted report.
Cllr Wadsworth left the meeting at 3pm at the end of this item.