To receive and consider the attached report of the Chief Planning Officer regarding a position statement change of use applicationof former library and the erection of a six storey extension to create a co-living scheme (sui generis) with associated communal facilities, a work hub to ground floor and basement parking, Former Burley Library, 230 Cardigan Road, Headingley, Leeds, LS6 1QL.
The report of the Chief Planning Officer presented a position statement on a change of use application for a former library and the erection of a six storey extension to create a 78 bed co-living scheme (sui generis) with associated communal facilities, a work hub to ground floor and basement parking at Former Burley Library, 230 Cardigan Road, Headingley, Leeds, LS6 1QL.
Members visited the site prior to the meeting and site plans and photographs were displayed and referred to throughout the discussion of the application.
The Planning Officer presented the application and provided Panel Members with the following information:
· The application site is located on Cardigan Road, and the site is in a mixed residential area surrounded largely by residential housing. The surrounding area also had a variety of non-residential uses including retail and petrol station, cafes, community centres, shops, and places of worship. It was also noted that Glassworks is to the north of the site and the Embankment to the south.
· There was previous approval for planning permission for a six storey extension to form 60 flats, with work hub to ground floor and basement car parking.
· The library is proposed to be retained and refurbished, with a 6 storey building set to the rear of the building so that it is not prominent with the street. The library will form a co-living space for residents and the general public.
· There is existing access off Cardigan Road with provision for 19 car parking spaces in a shared parking area; this will be shared with Glassworks. There will also be additional parking that can be accessed through the parking area adjacent to the Embankment building.
· There is 15 co-living units on the first floor, all 30 square metres in size, each floor also has a terraced balcony area.
· The communal spaces included kitchen and sitting areas across 2 floors.
· The application previously sought 98 units, all with 22 square metres in size. However, since then, this has been revised to provide larger space standards for residents.
· The proposal is a new housing concept for residents in Leeds and it is not subject to specific policy; there was a draft Houses in Multiple Occupation, Purpose-Built Student Accommodation and Co-Living Amenity Standards draft Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) being progressed, but following discussions with Development Plan Panel Members, the Co-Living section of the SPD was removed. Hence there being no specific policy.
The applicants attended the meeting and addressed the Panel. They informed Panel of the following points:
· This was the first co-living scheme to form part of a live planning application.
· The Park Lane Group have operated for 46 years in Leeds and have significant experience of managing residents in student and aparthotel developments.
· The scheme is a natural progression for students and young professionals moving forward, and Park Lane Group have received requests from students to remain in similar sites after graduating.
· The scheme exceeds Core Strategy Policy H9, and the library will additionally provide residents with more amenity space. The number of units have been reduced to 78 to improve the standard of living for residents on the site.
· Parking provision hasn’t been met or the provision of adequate outdoor space. However, Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) are proposed, as well as a car club scheme and a community sum.
Responding to questions from Panel members, the following was confirmed:
a) The TRO’s are determined by LCC officers, and further conversations need to be held with LCC’s Highways Department regarding such proposals. Further to comments regarding the opposite effect in proposing TROs, it was noted that research has been undertaken relevant of that is proposed and parking is not high in demand. It was also confirmed that parking will be on a first come first serve basis, and no spaces will be allocated.
b) The Park Lane Group are experienced in managing residents and consider the scheme to be a development of PBSA schemes. Many requests were received on behalf of students living in PBSA schemes that they wished to stay in similar accommodation and the proposals seek to offer more than just an accommodation, but somewhere for residents to socialise and the element of co-working is considered a growing sector.
c) Each occupier has access to 30 sqm private space and an average of 8.4 square metres of communal space and the ground floor space isn’t included in that figure. Residents will also have access to facilities at the Glassworks. The access to space exceeds other developments across other core cities.
d) The units are proposed to be 1-bed studios and residents tend to be single occupiers.
e) In terms of a co-defined policy for Leeds, it wasn’t quite clear yet on the timescales of one being established / implemented.
f) A standard studio estimated to cost around £295 per week and there are no preclusions for anybody occupying a studio.
Panel members made the following comments:
g) A positive move forward following on from student accommodation and mitigates isolation concerns.
h) It was felt that the price of the units is overpriced and expensive and whilst it was considered the accommodation is good quality, it was felt further provision in terms of facilities could be provided.
i) Difficulties in terms of the council not having a specific co-living policy, particularly when it comes to amenity space and parking provision requirements. It was acknowledged there may be an adverse effect when applying TROs and may create further issues. However, some members believed that due to the nature of the development and target audience, parking spaces required may be minimal.
j) Whilst the general feel of the retention of the library and interior is positive, concerns were raised that the building to the rear does not respectfully frame the library building.
Members comments in relation to the officers questions in the submitted report were relayed as follows:
· Do Members support the principle of co-living and the amenity offered by the development? The majority of members agreed with this although a number wanted more information as to how it operated before giving an unqualified yes.
· Do Members support the approach to affordable housing provision for this co-living development? A vote was taken on this and 7 supported the approach, 2 did not.
· Do Members support the design of the extension and works to the Grade II listed Burley Library? A number of members felt that the design of the extension over dominated the smaller and listed building. Panel members expressed that they did not have major issues with the design but felt it needed to be ‘lightened’ in some way, such as material changes. However, another member commented on the bulk and massing of the building and a suggestion was put forward for Leeds City Council’s design team to be involved in further considerations. A suggestion to increase the height of the building was put forward, to allow for more room space, but this was not supported by Panel.
· Do Members support the parking provision and highway works associated with the development? Members broadly supported the reduced parking provision. However, it was requested that monies to be provided for TROs in the area should be used for speed reduction measures, particularly on Alexandra Road.
In general, members supported the scheme, but required further information on the points raised above, as well as being clear on policies.
a) To note the contents of the report on the proposals and to provide views in relation to the questions posed in the submitted report to aid the progression of the application.