Agenda item

Application 22/02638/FU - Land South of Whitehall Road, Leeds

To receive and consider the attached report of the Chief Planning Officer regarding an application for a hybrid planning application at Land South of Whitehall Road, consisting of full planning application for 12 storey office building with Use Class E at ground level (comprising ground plus 11 storeys plus plant) and 14 storey multi-storey car park (MSCP) with Use Class E at ground level (comprising ground plus 13 storeys) and internal infrastructure works and landscaping.


Outline application for 8/1 storey office building/hotel/aparthotel (comprising ground plus 7 storeys and plant for office or ground plus 9 storeys and plant for hotel/aparthotel) and further 11 storey office building comprising ground plus 10 storey plus plant) including means of access & scale to be considered



The report of the Chief Planning Officer presented a hybrid application consisting of a Full Application for 12 storey office building with Use Class E at ground level (comprising ground plus 11 storeys plus plant) and 14 storey multi-storey car park (MSCP) with use Class E at ground level (comprising ground plus 13 storeys) and internal infrastructure works and landscaping.


Also Outline Application for 8/11 story office building/hotel/aparthotel (comprising ground plus 7 storeys and plant for office or ground plus 9 storeys and plant for hotel/aparthotel) and further 11 storey office building (comprising ground plus plant) including means of access & scale to be considered.


Members attended the site prior to the meeting and site plans and photographs were displayed and referred to throughout the discussion of the applications.


The following was highlighted:


·  The site was a key brownfield site within the city centre boundary that had been undeveloped for a number of years.

·  The proposals would provide opportunity for further investment into the city centre.

·  A residential scheme had been approved at the site in December 2022.

·  There would be landscape improvements along Whitehall Road and Riverside Way and enhanced connections through the site.

·  A pre-application presentation had been made in January 2022 when Members were generally supportive of the scale and layout, access and landscaping proposals.

·  Full applications has been submitted for Block 2 which would be an office building and Block 5 which was the proposed multi-storey car park.

·  Outline applications for scale and access had been submitted for Block 4 (Aparthotel) and Block 9 (Office accommodation).

·  The building heights would be from 8 to 14 storeys and followed a similar pattern to the development at Wellington Place.

·  The proposed distance between buildings was felt appropriate for city centre development.

·  Improvements to landscaping included widened footpaths and cycle routes; planting and improved connections.  There would also be improvements to the semi circle area at Whitehall Waterfront including a riverside park and areas for play.

·  Façade development and proposed materials were displayed for Block 2 along with typical floor plans.  There would be a commercial space on the ground floor, cycle parking and a roof terrace.

·  CGI images of the proposed Blocks 2 and 5 were displayed.

·  The Multi-Storey Car Park would have solar panels and electric vehicle charging points.  There would be 478 spaces and would be mainly used for employees of the office accommodation with some short stay public spaces.

·  Samples of materials to be used were made available for inspection.

·  CGI images of the development showing natural surveillance provided by ground floor commercial units.

·  There had been a reduction in the proposed height of Block 9 to reflect that of the Whitehall Waterfront buildings.

·  The proposals were considered to be a positive addition to the regeneration of a brownfield site that had not been in use for many years.  There had been a detailed design process since the pre-application stage including enhancements to key routes in and out of the city centre.  The applications were recommended for approval.


A local resident addressed the Panel with objections to the application.  These included the following:


·  The previous proposals approved at the site was only approved by a small majority and the Panel had conceded that those plans were flawed and residents had felt let down by the process.

·  Principles of good planning and design had been overlooked for profit.

·  Resident’s objections to the application had not been addressed.

·  Resident’s experience and quality if life would be marginalised by the proposals,

·  The mass and density of the proposals would dominate and engulf existing developments, invade privacy, increase problems with wind, reduce daylight, create poor surveillance and increase traffic.

·  The building at Plot 9 would be the biggest problem.  Despite the proposed height reduction it would still dominate existing properties and does not address the objections that have been made.

·  Resident’s have not seen any evidence of the light impact assessment that had been submitted.

·  The invasion of resident’s privacy had been ignored.

·  There would be compromised safety and security for residents.


The applicant‘s representatives were invited to address the Panel.  The following was highlighted:


·  There had been a great deal of pre-application work with officers.

·  There would be the provision of new cycle ways and landscaping.

·  The riverside area would be enhanced and improved connections to other areas.

·  The provision of a riverside park.

·  Guidance for tall buildings had been followed and Block 9 had been reduced to an equitable size to Whitehall Waterfront.  There was always a proposal for an office building adjacent to Whitehall Waterfront.

·  Separation distances between the buildings were generous.

·  All contributions would be met through Section 106 agreement and CIL payments.

·  Highest possible standards would be targetted and high energy efficiency.


In response to questions to the applicant’s representatives, discussion included the following:


·  Frontages of the buildings at ground floor level and the need for functionality and surveillance.

·  There were constraints on providing landscaping around the base of Plot 9 there were connections to other landscaped areas.  There would be more detail on landscaping for this plot at a later planning stage.

·  The width of roads was suitable for access and service and emergency vehicles.

·  The wind modelling had shown that wind conditions would improve when more building work was undertaken.  It was proposed to develop plots 6 and 7 first.

·  The multi-storey car park long stay spaces would be allocated for occupants of the office building and aparthotel.  Short stay parking would be restricted to 5 hours with no entry prior to 09:30.  Consultation had shown the need for parking at the site.

·  There would be ramped and level access to the buildings.

·  Landscaping between the office building and riverside.  There would be a 5 metre cycle way and footpath and stepped up levels to meet flood prevention requirements.  There would be space for some planters.

·  The minimum width of walkways along the riverside would almost be developed.  The major part of the outdoor development would be the riverside park in front of Whitehall Waterfront.  There would be increased and enhanced opportunity for the use of outdoor space by the riverside.


In response to questions to officers, discussion included the following:


·  Once the development was fully built there would not be any wind safety issues.  There would be a condition to control the phasing of building to ensure wind safety.

·  Parks and Countryside would be looking at where off-site biodiversity improvements would be achieved within the Ward.

·  Car parking was within policy requirements to allow short stay parking in the city centre.  This policy was to be reviewed to support using other forms of travel into the city centre.  Cycle parking could also be reviewed.

·  The daylight impact assessment had not been made publicly available at this stage but the findings were outlined in the report.

·  Further information on landscaping on Block 9 would be brought at the Reserved Matters stage.

·  The buildings closest to the multi-storey car park would be less sensitive to noise than residential properties.

·  There had been discussions with Ward Members that had included distances between buildings and the impact of privacy on Whitehall Waterfront residents.  These concerns had been noted and it was felt that levels of impact were acceptable within a city centre context.

·  Surveillance to Whitehall Waterfront was considered to be an improvement as there would be more usage.


In response to Members’ comments, discussion included the following.


·  Concern that the full daylight impact assessment had not been seen by the Panel or members of the public.

·  The detailed plans for Blocks 2 and 5 were more than adequate with a more extensive landscape plan than other applications on the site.  There was some concern whether biodiversity net gain could be met.

·  Concern regarding the lack of landscaping for Block 9.

·  The overall design and use of materials was good but there was still concern regarding landscaping and biodiversity net gain.

·  A motion had been made to defer the application to allow for the daylight impact assessment to be published.  Members discussed the possibility of non-determination and any other outstanding issues that needed to be resolved.  It was proposed that further consideration should be given to a more oblique design for Block 9 and biodiversity.


RESOLVED -   That the application be deferred to allow for the daylight impact assessment to be published and made available to all parties.


(Councillor C Gruen assumed the Chair following this item).



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