To receive and consider the attached report of the Chief Planning Officer regarding a reserved matters (appearance, landscaping, layout, and scale) application for 50 dwellings and 4 apartments to outline permission 21/10203/OT, on land at Owlcotes Road, Pudsey, Leeds.
The report of the
Chief Planning Officer set out an application for a reserved matters (appearance, landscaping, layout, and scale)
application for 50 dwellings and 4 apartments to outline permission
21/10203/OT, on land at Owlcotes Road, Pudsey, Leeds.
The application is brought to Plans Panel given the large-scale nature of the
development, and the very high level of local interest, at the request of Councillor Andrew Carter, who has stated he considers the application needs to be brought before Members due to design and amenity concerns.
Photographs and slides were shown throughout the officer presentation, and
the following information was provided:
· The site consists of an irregular shaped area of green field land, which lies on thenorthern side of Owlcotes Road. The application is within the settlement of Pudsey.
· It was noted that a Panel site visit took place on 28thSeptember 2023 where Members viewed the site and surrounding context.
· The majority of the development comprises of semi-detached properties (42 units). The four flats are within 2 separate blocks, and there are two blocks of 3 terraced properties (6 units) and 2 detached bungalows. A total of 54 dwellings are proposed.
· The majority of properties feature bay windows and canopies.
· Land levels identify a slight slope on the land. It is considered this will not impact upon overshadowing or over dominance.
· All of the distances to nearby properties are exceeded significantly.
· There are 17 objections to the application. Most of the objections relate to the principal of development on-site which is not a consideration in determining the application.
· An objection sets out serious implications for health and therefore the Local Planning Authority have conducted an Equality Impact Assessment, and this has been appended to the submitted report and designated as exempt.
· The layout of the site has been discussed with the applicant to increase spacing on-site, and as a result, 12 units were removed.
· Amendments also relocated the greenspace area, and this is now centrally located. A number of properties will face onto the greenspace area.
· Few house types have been proposed to demonstrate a cohesive appearance.
· Parking is proposed to be on site driveways.
· The central open greenspace proposes a number of trees to be planted as well as street trees.
· The relationship to existing properties meets minimum space standards.
· Solar panels to be provided to all units which contributes to 40% of the sites energy demand, exceeding the minimum requirement of Policy EN1.
· It is considered that the proposals provide much needed affordable housing and on-site greenspace.
At this point in the meeting, members moved into private session to consider the appendix to the submitted report designated as exempt from publication under the provisions of Access to Information Procedure Rules 10.4 (1)
The private session concluded, and everybody was welcomed back into the meeting. The Chair explained that members considered private information during the closed session, and this was necessary so that members were provided with the opportunity to have due regard to the public sector equality duty by being in receipt of all information regarding this application.
Objectors in attendance at the meeting addressed the Panel, providing the following information:
· Raising concerns regarding the possibility of asbestos being contained in the land.
· Re-routing of the footpath elsewhere on the development site and concern that the location of the footpath may have an impact on anti-social behaviour.
· Current occupiers along the boundary may be overlooked as a result of the development. It was suggested that additional trees should be planted and form part of a condition to the planning application.
· Serious issues regarding the application have been shared with the Director of City Development and Chief Executive approximately 18 months ago.
· It was suggested that plots 52, 53 and 54 are re-located or removed.
· It is considered unlawful to grant permission for a development that poses a risk to life and the conditions should seek to mitigate any risks associated with the development.
Further to questions to the speakers regarding mitigating risks, it was confirmed that the application originally submitted was for 77 units, and the proposal now seeks 54. The objector considered it possible to re-locate plots 52, 53 and 54 elsewhere, to provide an appropriate green buffer. It was noted by an objector that the only way to mitigate such risks associated with risk assessments is for the development not to go ahead. It was acknowledged that housing is required and moving plots 52, 53 and 54 would possibly mitigate some risk.
Speakers in support of the application providing the following information:
· Engagement took place with the local community and local ward councillors during the pre-application stage.
· A number of proposals have since been amended after listening to concerns raised and a 3 storey block has been removed, greenspace has increased, the overall number of units has decreased.
· The applicant met with the objector in attendance and has moved two of the plots onsite to provide them with privacy and further increasing the separation distance. A 3m landscape buffer is proposed to the rear of the properties along the boundary.
· Plots 52, 53 and 54 were looked at being moved elsewhere, but it is considered this was not possible as this had an impact on the central greenspace area and the attenuation water tank. It was confirmed that if the attenuation water tank is moved, this will create more noise disturbance and construction disturbances, as well as trees needing to be removed.
· The applicant has consulted with a ground engineer and a number of tailored measures have been suggested during the construction phase regarding minimising dust, vibration, and noise.
· The applicant does not intend to commence works until early 2025.
Further to questions from Panel Members, the following was confirmed:
· The scheme is supported by Homes England and a 12 month procurement exercise will need to be undertaken to secure a suitable contractor to deliver the scheme. The grant funding project is active until 2027. The applicant will be willing to sign a unilateral agreement to delay a start on the site until early 2025. It was further confirmed that if the scheme is not complete by 2027, the funds will be forfeited.
· The dimensions of the attenuation water tank are 35m long, 13.5 wide and 1.6m deep. There is also an additional 1m for the easement zone of the tank where trees cannot be planted in this area or build on top of it. Following a conversation with a drainage expert, it was confirmed that the deeper the tank, the bigger the easement zone must be.
· Further to a question regarding the exploration of an attenuation pond and improving biodiversity, it was confirmed that a larger area would be needed on-site, and compromised design and space around the proposed dwellings. It is considered from drainage experts that an attenuation water tank is something Yorkshire Water would possibly adopt.
· The applicant would be happy to incorporate a stricter condition regarding the reduction of dust particles.
· The applicant would need to consider the use of sprayers that are automatically triggered and undertake discussions with a specialist contractor.
· The applicant also agreed to sign a deed of easement to stop works being able to start before 2025.
· The mitigations proposed have been suggested by a specialist ground contractor and the final construction management plan must be approved by the Local Authority before the condition (as per the outline planning consent) relating to this, is discharged.
· The implementation of the 3m fixed hoarding supersedes the fence netting and this can be installed before any construction takes place.
· Removal of the plots in question provide less affordable homes for those who need it.
Further to questions from Panel Members, officers confirmed the following:
· Technical detail regarding the attenuation tank has not yet been provided and would not necessarily be provided before reserved matters planning consent is given. Yorkshire Water have not objected on the proposed water tank, based on the application for 54 units.
· Environmental health colleagues will provide expert advice prior to the construction management plan being finalised.
· Officers consider the provision of 100% affordable housing, outweighs the loss of biodiversity. The application also exceeds Policy EN1 and the benefits of the application as a whole, outweigh that loss of biodiversity. Further to comments regarding biodiversity loss, it was confirmed that at the time the outline planning consent was considered, emerging biodiversity requirements were not in existence and the application will have been assessed against Core Strategy Policy G9.
· A suggestion was made that the Chair be involved in the process of further discussions regarding the construction management plan. It was also confirmed that external advice will be sought subject to Environmental Health feeling it is beyond their level of expertise.
· A request was made that figures in relation to EN1 on how energy demand will be provided.
· A suggestion was made that the 3m fixed hoarding be in place before the need for a construction road and the condition regarding this, be strengthened.
Comments from Panel Members included:
· Members commented on the due regard to the Equality Act, and sensitivities regarding the site and commented on the importance that all mitigations are adequately explored. In doing so, members believed that the exploration of moving plots 52, 53 and 54 must be looked at further and as a result of this, consider whether it is possible to move the attenuation tank or rotate it.
· There are clear issues in terms of biodiversity regarding further exploration of an attenuation pond and it is believed more generally that improvements can be made, to improve on biodiversity elements of the application.
· Further technical information is needed before a proper judgement can be taken on the mitigations proposed by the developer.
RESOLVED – To defer the application for officers to undertake further discussions with the applicant regarding the re-location or possible removal of plots 52, 53 and 54 in accordance with considering the Equalities Act and Equality Impact Assessment. As well as: -
a) The applicant to provide a unilateral agreement agreeing to delay start on site until no earlier than 1st January 2025.
b) Explore use of sprayers that are automatically triggered.
c) Detail means of dust particle monitoring.
d) Ensure Environmental Health consulted on adequacy of all dust suppression measures.
e) Timescale for early implementation of hoarding.