The report of the Chief Planning Officer presents an Outline Application for up to 925 dwellings including means of primary vehicle access and central Spine Road and associated infrastructure works and a 2.6ha Community Hub facility (provisionally comprising primary school, convenience store and health provision) all on land pertaining to the Southern Quadrant of the East Leeds Extension (part of housing allocation site HG1-288)
The report of the Chief Planning Officer presented an outline planning application for up to 925 dwellings including means of primary vehicle access and central Spine Road and associated infrastructure works and a 2.6ha Community Hub facility (provisionally comprising primary school, convenience store and health provision) all on land pertaining to the Southern Quadrant of the East Leeds Extension (part of housing allocation site HG1-288).
Some Members had attended a site visit earlier in the day. Photographs and slides were shown throughout the officer presentation.
The Panel were provided with the following information:
· An image showing an extract of a policies map in the Development Plan showing East Leeds Extension Housing Allocation. The location of the proposed development is south of Leeds Road and Manston Lane, bounded by ELOR to the east. To the east of ELOR is land designated as the green belt and beyond that is the village of Scholes. The area to the south is the Thorpe Park Employment Allocation. To the west is Crossgates Local Centre and to the north Seacroft Local Centre.
· There are 4 Quadrants forming the East Leeds Extension. Red Hall, Whinmoor Fields, Morwick Green and Pendas Beck.
· The site is largely fields, with areas of trees along Cock Beck and along the area covered by a Scheduled Monument. The John Smeaton playing pitches also form part of the Housing Allocation and are part of the application site. Further south is a Secondary School (John Smeaton Academy) and John Smeaton Leisure Centre and residential areas to the West. Cock Beck runs along the western boundary and through the middle of the site and sits within a small, wooded area either side. Public rights of way cross the site on a north-south and east-west fashion. Sandleas Way industrial estate exists to the southwest.
· The route of the Scheduled Monument curves round from Manston Lane towards ELOR and is retained in an area of greenspace.
· John Smeaton playing pitches are owned by LCC and there is a current planning application to re-locate 2 of those pitches to Whinmoor Grange, with the third pitch being retained as part of the primary school development on site.
· There are existing Grade II Listed Buildings along Manston Lane, including a dovecote within the application site and Lazencroft Farm beyond the south-eastern boundary of the site. Lazencroft Farm backs on to the development with a slight change in levels. A buffer will be required beyond the land at Lazencroft Farm to create a buffer between it and the proposed development,
· Manston Lane has been re-routed to accommodate ELOR.
· An overview of local facilities in the area.
· Wider connections linking new development to existing links and facilities.
· Cock Beck forms the western boundary and runs through the centre of site. The associated flood risk zones were noted.
· Pedestrian and cycle links. New pedestrian and cycle connections are required to connect to ELOR, and the Spine Road will be wide enough to accommodate buses. Segregated cycle ways and tree lined verges are proposed.
· Green infrastructure and proposed greenspaces. Existing trees to the Cock Beck boundary and the Scheduled Monument are largely to be retained. There will also be 3 equipped play areas, as well as retention of a playing pitch as part of the primary school.
· The northern end of Leeds Road includes a local centre, and this is an area of land owned by LCC.
· Accesses to the site from the north (Leeds Road) are provided for the spine road and local centre access. Right turn lanes are provided where required and a toucan crossing, and informal crossing point are provided together with cycleways.
· There are also links through the development to access the primary school without having to access the Leeds Road.
· The entire development will be phased, with an estimated build out time of 11 years.
· Houses are proposed to be overlooking greenspaces.
· LCCs Children Services have submitted a statement explaining a primary school is required on site with 420 school places. It has been identified that the school will need to be opened in a phased way with 1 entry per multiple year group. The existing schools in the local area can meet short term demand from the development ahead of the new school opening.
· Secondary school provision in the area is sufficient, due to surplus capacity. Expansion of any secondary schools, if and when required, would be funded through CIL. The dynamics of polygons for secondary schools have changed since the opening of Leeds Trinity Academy and frees the capacity of East Leeds.
Mr Johnson (Planning Consultant), Mr Ashworth (Representative from Taylor Wimpey) and Mr Riding (Representative from Redrow) attended the meeting and referred to:
· There being no objectors in attendance to speak on the proposals and there only being 15 letters of objections received in response to a leaflet / letter drop to approximately 2000 households.
· The financial contributions towards ELOR, primary education, bus service provision and infrastructure, together with CIL are substantial. Comments also referred to 15% affordable housing provided on site, together with significant areas of greenspace.
· The applicant intends to move towards the 2025 Future Homes Standard and confirmed the development will not introduce gas on site. This goes beyond the Council’s and Government’s planning policies.
· Redrow has commissioned a building survey to get older buildings (the Grade II Listed dovecote) up to standard and back in use.
· The applicant will come up with a design solution to mitigate the impact of the proposals in respect of Lazencroft Farm.
· However, the more detailed matters such as design and sustainability credentials are all elements that Panel will be asked to consider as part of the proposals that would need to come forward at Reserved Matters stage.
Further to questions from Panel Members, the supporters in attendance at the meeting confirmed the following information:
· Detail on how the applicant is working towards the 2025 Future Homes Standard will form part of the future Reserved Matters applications, but it was confirmed that the proposals do not include gas energy provision on site.
· The intention is for the site to be ‘zero carbon ready’.
· Future considerations regarding the proposals will look at ensuring routes are lit and attempt to ensure that people feel safe. ‘Safe by Design’ guidance will be taken into consideration, again to be considered at Reserved Matters stage.
· Not looking to have parking on the Spine Road, parking will be inside the plots. There will be a 4.5m verge that runs along the cycling and walking link.
· It is intended that 2 parking spaces are provided per dwelling, in accordance with policy and visitor parking will be provided around the development.
· Further to a comment regarding use of a flexi bus around the site, it was confirmed that the Council and West Yorkshire Combined Authority will consider requirements for bus services and provisions required in each of the Quadrants.
In response to questions from Panel Members, officers explained the following:
· It was noted that members requested information on school polygons and further information in regard to school places.
· There is no loss of pitch provision from John Smeaton Academy. The pitch retained on site is for the primary school (with community use secured) and there are other spaces for KS1 and KS2.
· Lazencroft Farm is owned by a business who have a current planning application to operate as a children’s nursery. The Council’s Conservation officer has explained that an appropriate buffer / boundary treatment will be required. It was confirmed that the nursery can be accessed through the development in the future.
Officers will seek to ensure community provision is included in the proposals (proposed in the local centre) that will provide space for local groups and assist with general wellbeing, beyond the primary healthcare proposals. In response to queries as to whether additional space could be provided elsewhere within the site, officers will seek views through the ELE Consultative Forum.
Members relayed comments in relation to the officers questions in the submitted report:
1) Are there any matters which Members wish to raise in respect of climate
change and sustainability? The applicant should be building to the 2025 Future Homes Standard to mitigate issues relating to retrofitting later.
2) Are there any matters which Members wish to raise in respect of urban
design and liveability? Concern was raised regarding whether there would be enough parking spaces on site and urged further consideration to be given to this. It was acknowledged that due to the intention of there being no parking on the Spine Road, this may create parking issues and/or requests to remove verge and front garden areas. It was also suggested that car parking spaces side by side to the side of dwellings is preferable, such that there does not have to be constant manoeuvring of cars in and out of driveways by residents – causing both disturbance and adverse environmental / carbon impact. A member also raised a comment regarding the wider population being able to feel safe within the proposed site and surrounding areas, and sought assurance that streets and footpaths will be well lit for residents and children to feel safe walking / cycling etc.
3) Are there any comments Members would wish to make in respect of the
relationships to Listed Buildings and the Scheduled Monument? Members agreed that an appropriate buffer should be provided in relation to Lazencroft Farm.
4) Are there any comments Members would wish to make in respect of
landscape, biodiversity, and greenspace? To include a community orchid space and allotment grow your own space to bring residents together. The Climate Emergency Advisory Committee are looking at a food strategy developed by the Council, and it was suggested that policies such as these should be linked in with the scheme.
5) Are there any comments Members would wish to make in respect of
highways, transportation, and accessibility? Parking concerns were outlined as part of question 2.
6) Are there any comments Members would wish to make in relation to
housing provision, housing mix or Affordable Housing? To suggest the policy is reviewed regarding Affordable Housing and concern whether 15% is appropriate. The site is near the inner area, and demand will be higher.
7) Are there any comments Members would wish to make in respect of the
primary school, local centre, and health provision? It was acknowledged that there will be a considerable amount of extra high school places needed because of the scheme, and provision for healthcare facilities and community spaces for mental wellbeing will be required. Members were also keen to see a space for an NHS dentist.
The applicant requested that Panel Members defer approval on the application to the Chief Planning Officer, and for the Reserved Matters applications to be the next applications to be brought to Panel. In response, a motion was put forward that the application be deferred and delegated in consultation with the Chair, subject to a list of conditions being put before Panel Members outlining conditions of the Outline application. Officers advised that an appropriate course of action could be for Members to receive a report at a future Panel that details the suggested conditions to be attached to the grant of outline planning permission.
a) To note the content of the report on the proposal and to provide views in relation to the questions posed in the submitted report to aid the progression of the application.
b) To defer and delegate approval to the Chief Planning Officer subject to a list of conditions relating to the Outline application being put before Panel members at a future Panel meeting.