The report of the Chief Planning Officer sets out a planning application for Member’s consideration for a multi-level residential development (Class C3) with ground floor commercial units (Class E) and associated hard and soft landscaping; associated parking, bin and bike stores at a site to the south of Whitehall Road, Leeds.
The report of the Chief Planning Officer presented an application for a multi-level residential development (Class C3) with ground floor commercial units (Class E) and associated hard and soft landscaping; associated parking, bin and bike stores at a site to the south of Whitehall Road, Leeds.
The application had been deferred at the meeting held in November 2022 and Members had visited the site prior to that meeting. Site Plans and Photographs were displayed and referred to throughout the discussion of the application.
Issues highlighted in relation to the application included the following:
· The application was deferred at the meeting held in November 2022 to allow for further consideration of the massing of the proposals; impact of daylight and sunlight to existing properties; details of materials; off-site greenspace contribution; landscaping of the half-moon space; clarification of the Environment Agency position and legal advice on the financial viability assessment.
· There was a new objection from Leeds Civic Trust. This had not raised any new material concerns.
· The proposed massing was in context with the wider master plan for the area. Images showing the relationship with existing buildings and the distances in-between were displayed.
· A video showing a sun path study was shown. Further analysis had shown there was minimal impact on the Whitehall Waterfront buildings.
· Sample panels of the materials to be used were made available for Members to inspect. Images were displayed showing how the materials would be used.
· Greenspace provision – there would be on-site provision with the riverside park and enhancements to connections to the waterfront and other sites. The greenspace contribution would be used for other enhancements in the area and potentially towards the provision of a new footbridge over the canal.
· There had not been any previous proposed improvements to the half-moon area but this would be landscaped as part of the proposals and there would be the addition of play equipment.
· The Environment Agency had withdrawn their objection subject to conditions relating to the flood risk assessment.
· The applicant had committed to provide all Section 106 contributions and 25 affordable homes on site.
· Works on the site would begin in the first quarter of 2023 should the application be approved.
· The scheme offered opportunity to regenerate a key brownfield site.
In response to comments and questions from the Panel, the following was discussed:
· The approach to the massing of the buildings had reflected those nearby without any stepping down in the form. There were generous gaps between buildings and the waterfront.
· Concern regarding Policy H4 and missing provision targets. It was reported that the scheme fell within some of the parameters allowed under the policy.
· It was felt that the application was not compliant with Policy H4 and this would not support the creation of cohesive communities.
· Concern regarding the amount of on-site greenspace provision and whether requirements would be met when the rest of the site was developed.
· The provision of affordable housing was welcomed.
· Concern that the issues with regard to housing mix and greenspace had not been addressed.
· The proposed change to the brickwork and materials was welcomed.
· Concern regarding the provision of greenspace in relation to the density of the development.
· In summary to Members comments, it was reported that this was a significant city centre brownfield site with connectivity to other sites. It was acknowledged that there were reservations with the housing mix, greenspace and approach to viability. With regard to these points, the Panel was informed that high density city centre schemes had to be a combination of on and off-site greenspace provision due to space requirements. Policy for housing mix did allow for the character of the area and demographics to be taken into account and there had been changes to the mix following comments at the pre-application stage. The proposals for housing mix were consistent with other applications that had been approved within the city centre.
· Further comments were made welcoming the improvements to the scheme although there were still concerns with relation to greenspace and housing mix. It was also commented that the site had been awaiting development for over twenty years and this application provided an opportunity for this to happen and for the provision of much needed housing.
RESOLVED – That the application be deferred and delegated to the Chief Planning Officer for approval, subject to the conditions within Appendix 6 (and any amendment to or addition of others which the Chief Planning Officer considers appropriate), subject to resolving the outstanding technical concerns of the Environment Agency and the minor requested revisions of the Travel Behaviour Team and Highways, and also subject to the completion of a Section 106 Agreement to secure the following:
· 5% Affordable Housing on site (25 units).
· Employment and training for local people.
· Publicly accessible areas.
· Travel Plan Review Fee.
· The provision of a Residential Travel Plan Fund.
· A contribution towards highways improvements in the area.
· Legible Leeds Wayfinding Signage.
· Off site green space contribution.
· A Management Fee.
In the circumstances where the Section 106 has not been completed within 3 months of the Panel resolution to grant planning permission, the final determination of the applications shall be delegated to the Chief Planning Officer.