To receive and consider the attached report of the Chief Planning Officer which introduces a pre-planning application for student accommodation at SoYo, Block A, Quarry Hill, Leeds
The report of the Chief Planning Officer introduced a pre-planning application for the development of a student residential development at SOYO, Block A, Quarry Hill, Leeds.
Members visited the site prior to the meeting and site plans and photographs were displayed and referred to throughout the discussion.
It was noted that the site was within the Little London & Woodhouse Ward and not Hunslet & Riverside as stated in the report and that there had previously been permission granted for a multi-storey car park at the site.
The applicant’s representatives were invited to address the Panel. The following was highlighted:
· Outline permission for the wider site had been granted in 2017 for residential and office space.
· Vehicular access including arrangements for parking and service vehicles.
· Pedestrian movement through the site. There would be links to the A64 footbridge.
· The proposed building followed the masterplan in terms of height and massing and would present a symmetrical façade alongside Block B.
· There would be a secure landscaped courtyard for amenity.
· Floor plans were displayed. The ground floor would include amenity areas, cycle storage and a small café. The upper floors would be mainly accommodation and the studios and cluster flats were of generous sizes.
· Materials would include a Portland stone base, red brick and metallic panels.
· There would be side panel ventilation to windows.
· The amenity space at ground floor would provide good security surveillance.
· There would be opportunity for events in the outdoor areas.
In response to Members comments and questions, the following was discussed:
· Security concerns regarding pick up and drop off points and access to the bicycle store – it was reported that all these areas would be well lit and the cycle storage could be accessed from within the building. The site would be managed round the clock and have a security presence.
· The mix of studio and cluster flats had been based on industry standards.
· The landscaped courtyard area would be private for student residents to create a level of security. This would be the only private landscaped area. This has been approved as part of a previous application.
· There would be large areas of soft landscaping across the site.
· Rain gardens and water run-off had been considered in the design.
· There was not yet a confirmed date for the improvements to the footbridge.
· There was an established management company for the estate which would manage all the common areas.
· Public consultation had already started and will be expanded.
· Further work would be carried out with regard to health provision.
· There would be level access on the pedestrian routes.
· There would be a full highways assessment prior to the full application which would consider issues such as deliveries and student drop off and pick up.
· There would be consultation with the police with regards to safety and security.
· CCTV and other security arrangements would be operating all year round and not just during term time. It was expected that there would be some occupation outside of term time.
· The disabled parking bays would be available for public use.
· A wind study had been carried out and this building would provide further mitigation.
· Fire safety evacuation points had yet to be determined.
· The proposed materials were similar to those in the surrounding buildings. It was requested that samples of materials be provided should the full application be brought to Panel.
· It was proposed to be a low energy sustainable building which was highly efficient whilst low on energy use. There would be 100% LED lighting, low water consumption and an intention to connect in to the Leeds Heating Scheme.
· There would be management arrangements in place for student pick up and drop offs and other stakeholders on the site would be consulted.
· There was limited opportunity for the inclusion of green walls due to the active frontage at ground level. There would be further consideration to see if there could be more landscaping/greenspace.
· There would be opportunity to install electric bicycle charging points. It was hoped that there would be further information when the full application was submitted.
· Concern regarding the number of applications for student accommodation in the city centre and that students are only present for 30 weeks a year. It was reported that there was still a need to be met. There was an ongoing review of housing needs in the city. The wider part of this site also had other residential accommodation.
· The need for sufficient provision for delivery drivers.
· The requirement for student accommodation was discussed in more detail and Members requested an update on the review of the Strategic Homes Marketing Assessment and housing need across the district. A report was due to be sent to Development Plans Panel before the end of the year.
· There would be opportunity for students to stay in the accommodation all year round.
· More greenspace should be provided.
In response to questions outlined in the report, the following was discussed:
· Members were broadly supportive of the proposed use of Block A for student accommodation.
· Members agreed that the appearance and scale and setting of the proposed building was acceptable.
· Members Asked if further consideration could be given to more greenspace as part of the student residential amenity.
· Members requested that the full application be brought back to Panel for consideration.
RESOLVED – That the report and presentation be noted.