Agenda item

21/08345/FU and 21/08346/LI - Former Burley Library, 230 Cardigan Road, Headingley, Leeds, LS6 1QL

To receive and consider the attached report of the Chief Planning Officer regarding a change of use application of a 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 change of use application of former library and erection of a six storey extension to create a co-living scheme (sui generis) with associated communal facilities, a work hub to the ground floor and basement parking, at Former Burley Library, 230 Cardigan Road, Headingley, Leeds, LS6 1QL.


The application was presented as a position statement to Plans Panel on 23rd November 2022, to seek opinions on the co-living concept. Further to comments received from members, officers discussed the outcomes of the meeting to the applicant to improve the design and issues associated with parking.


Photographs and slides were shown throughout the officer presentation, and Panel members were provided with the following information:

·  Background context to the Co-Living emerging schemes and the audience it attracts.

·  The site comprises former Burley Library site and is located on Cardigan Road, being in a mixed residential area surrounded largely by residential housing. The immediate surrounding area has non-residential uses.

·  Vehicular access to the rear is via the adjacent Glassworks site and the underground car park belongs to The Embankment Building and will serve the proposed accommodation basement car park.

·  Street views of the site were referred to during the presentation.

·  It is proposed to retain former Burley Library and restore it to its original condition. The space will retain the panelling, lanterns, architraves etc. 4 mezzanine units will be added to the former library, with window pods

·  The extension is proposed to be to the rear of the library and six storeys.

·  The front elevation is in context with the adjacent building.

·  The proposal has been amended slightly from the previous panel meeting, the extension has a heavily glazed frontage and grey vertical cladding. The library will have a traditional approach to the design, whereas the extension will be more contemporary.

·  The proposed layout of the scheme in terms of the units, and communal areas on the 1st – 4th floors. The application originally proposed 98 units, whereas it has been reduced by 20 units to allow for more space creating better amenity and layout for future residents.

·  Communal spaces to the front of the building comprises of winter terraces that can be shut off, and used during the colder months, providing an additional indoor space for residents. Communal spaces also include a shared kitchen and eating facilities. The communal space on the 1st and 2nd floor are linked and can be accessed by residents on both floors, building additional interaction with residents.

·  The applicant holds overall control and owns all of the buildings on the site and will provide benefits to future occupiers as residents will have access to The Glassworks and outdoor spaces.

·  There is access to 24 spaces outside, and 18 spaces in the underneath carpark.

·  It is considered that the benefits of the development outweigh any conflicts with policy H9 (space standards).


Further to questions from Panel Members, the following was confirmed:

·  Further to the Development Plan Panel meeting held 4th April 2023, where discussion took place on ‘Technical Planning Guidance on Co-Living’, it was noted that such guidance is in its draft form. Some of the comments raised at DPP covered issues of clarity, but others sought additionality to existing policy, which we cannot change at this stage. there is future opportunity to look at this as part of the Leeds Local Plan (2040). The draft technical guidance note signposts to existing policy, so notwithstanding the status of the technical guidance note, the application before members has been assessed based on current policies contained within the Leeds Plan.

·  The proposed units will contain a kitchenette, with cooking facilities. Each unit is proposed to be 30sqm. Policy H9 (Space Standards) is not met, however, officers believe that the communal space offering provides additional space for residents.

·  It is intended to retain the existing fabrics in former Burley Library, such as the doors, panelling, roof lanterns etc.

·  Further suggestions relating to sustainability measures can be incorporated as conditions to the planning application.


Comments from Panel Members raised the following key issues:

·  The proposed size of the bedsits is not up to standard and do not meet minimum space standards. Additionally, it is believed that the Co-Living concept has not been met, due to the bedsits being self-contained. It is expected that residents in such schemes, cook in the communal areas and are provided more space in their bedsits.

·  Whilst it was acknowledged the comment was not a material planning consideration, concerns were raised regarding the price of rent being high and the affordability for the target audience in relation to the Co-Living concept.

·  The commuted sum in lieu of on-site provision of affordable housing is believed to not be acceptable, and provision should be provided on-site where possible.

·  The massing of the building is not as prominent and as it is set further back, the building doesn’t appear as dominant.

·  The communal areas appear small.


An alternative motion to the officer recommendation was put forward, in that the application be refused. This motion was moved and seconded, and therefore it was:

RESOLVED – To refuse the full planning application based on it not complying with the adopted policy on space standards.


Supporting documents: