To receive and consider the attached report of the Chief Planning Officer regarding an application for Demolition of existing buildings and structures; construction of 618 residential dwellings (C3) and flexible commercial space (E and F1); associated refuse and plant infrastructure, landscaping, new public realm and open space.
The report of the Chief Planning Officer presented an application for the demolition of existing buildings ad structures; construction of 618 residential dwellings (C3) and flexible commercial space (E and F1); associated refuse and plant infrastructure, landscaping, new public realm and open space at the former Arla Foods site, Kirkstall Road, Burley, Leeds.
Members visited the site prior to the meeting and site plans and photographs were displayed and referred to throughout the discussion of the application.
Further issues highlighted in relation to the application included the following:
· There was an update to the supplement to the report – there would be a Section 106 education contribution of £162, 510.31. There were also objections from the Civic Trust and an adjacent landowner.
· Objections from the Civic Trust included an over provision of car parking, lack of balconies and poor amenity space. The adjacent landowner had concerns regarding the proximity of Block D from Washington Street.
· The site was allocated for mixed use in the Site Allocation Plan.
· The site was close to the Clarion Homes site which had recently been approved and was a former industrial/brownfield site.
· There would be 618 build to rent apartments in 5 blocks with commercial units to the ground floor.
· There would be generous public realm provision.
· Building D would be 15 metres from the boundary on the opposite side to Washington Street and on balance was felt appropriate in terms of impact.
· There was an outline approval on the site which allowed for buildings of 7 to 13 storeys.
· There would be two main design types to the buildings which would reflect the industrial heritage of the site.
· It was proposed to include 97 balconies for apartments in the development. However it should be noted that there is no specific policy requirement for the provision of balconies.
· Access throughout the site and connectivity through adjoining sites including cycle routes.
· There would be park land to the south of the development.
· The Environment Agency was satisfied with the flood protection scheme.
· There would be formal play areas.
· There would a bio-diversity net gain of 78%.
· There was only one affordable housing unit due to the financial viability position. However the applicant was committed to making the Section 106 infrastructure policy contributions, notwithstanding the findings of the financial viability assessment.
· There had been amendments to the fire safety plan and a response was awaited from the Health and Safety Executive.
· There would be 381 one bedroom, 248 two bedroom and 62 three bed apartments. This was consistent with nearby developments.
· The application was recommended for approval.
In response to questions and comments from the Panel, the following was discussed:
· With regards to the housing mix there was no policy requirement to meet the preferred targets. The policy is worded to offer flexibility and take into account the form of development and character of an area inorder to provide a suitable mix by types and size and this differed for different parts of the city. The mix proposed in this case reflected the characteristics of the area. There was less demand for family accommodation in this area than there was for one or two bedroom apartments.
· There were different housing character areas as set out in the Strategic Housing Market Assessment, which informed housing needs assessments for different parts of the city.
· With regard to greenspace provision, policy recognised that for high density schemes such as this it was not possible to practically provide all the area generated by the standard calculation on site and that an off-site contribution could be provided in lieu of on-site provision.
· The off-site highways contribution would be used towards upgrading crossings and the route through to Burley Road. There would also be signal upgrades. It was also hoped to use the contributions to non-motorised improvements.
· Members were pleased to see the inclusion of a formal play area and balconies although more balconies would have been preferred.
· More three bedroom apartments would have been preferable.
· There were some positive aspects to the design of the buildings.
· The proposals were a positive re-use of the site.
· Further concern regarding the housing mix and that policy requirements were not being met.
· The housing mix was not suitable for a site on the outskirts of the city centre.
· The greenspace proposed was an improvement.
· The application was not policy compliant and there was more that could be achieved on this site.
· It was suggested that the application be refused due to the lack of policy compliance.
A motion was made and seconded to refuse permission. This was subsequently voted upon and not carried.
A further motion was made to defer the application for further consideration of providing more balconies, greenspace, housing mix and more information on the biodiversity net gain position. Further discussion was held regarding car parking and viability. Members were informed that changes to the housing mix is likely to affect the viability position and that there could be implications with the installation of further balconies due to the height of the buildings. Due to the Policy H4 on housing mix being city wide, it was asked whether this scheme could be measured against delivery elsewhere. Members also wanted the affordable housing position to be reconsidered. The motion to defer was seconded and subsequently voted upon.
RESOLVED – That the application be deferred to further consider the housing mix (proportion of 3 bedroom apartments), provision of balconies, matters around bio-diversity net gain, provision of greenspace and the proposed level of affordable housing.