Planning chiefs expected to refuse 700 house development

A seven hundred house development is expected to be refused by Leeds City Council as it seeks to safeguard green spaces in the city.

The substantial plot of houses in Scholes, which has met with strong resistance from locals who opposed the plans, looks set to be turned down at the City Plans Panel meeting on Thursday 28 August.

It would have seen 700 houses, along with residential care and retail spaces, built next to the village by Barratt and David Wilson Homes.

Leeds City Council said the location of the site and its scale is not in line with its housing delivery policy – Site Allocations Plan (SAP) which seeks to identify what areas of land can be used for building projects.

The SAP, which is still being drawn up, identifies which sites can be developed in the city and makes clear each must factor in sufficient infrastructure needed to support sustainable growth such as schools, roads and medical services.

The council report states that the developers had failed to show the road network would be capable of dealing with the significant increase in traffic. Compounding this is the fact there is only one bus an hour serving the area.

Further it is thought allowing development on this site would prejudice future housing and growth in the village seriously impacting its identity and character.

It carried on to say the development was contrary to its main housing and development policy – The Draft Core Strategy, which aims to concentrate the majority of new developments as close as possible to main urban area and major settlements.

Officers argue such a large development should be factored into larger plans for housing within the city, such as the Scholes Neighbourhood Plan and not be dealt with in isolation as a one-off application, which might lead to or of its kind in future.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Executive Member for Neighbourhoods, Planning and Personnel, said:

“If approved by members this should send a message out that we are looking to protect green space, where possible, in our city and will not let developers build inappropriately.

“We want to encourage the delivery of new homes to meet the growing need of residents here in Leeds. However, it is important we can choose the right sites and not be open to planning by appeal.

“If the planning panel up hold this report it demonstrates that the council is in a good position to resist inappropriate housing development. It is very important to us that this housing is delivered in the most suitable places through planning and consultation.”

A second site at Breary Lane East, Bramhope where 380 houses are proposed to be built is also set to be rejected on Thursday 28 August at the Plans Panel Meeting. Again there are concerns around the sustainability of the scheme in terms of infrastructure. There were also issues around access to the site.

Panel members have visited the site at Scholes already and will visit the Bramhope site in the morning of Thursday 28 August and then hear all the arguments for and against before reaching a decision on both applications.

For further information see individual planning reports http://democracy.leeds.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=947&MId=6983&Ver=4

For media enquiries please contact:

Dan Johnson or Laura Ferris

Leeds City Council press office,

Tel 0113 395 0244

Email: laura.ferris@leeds.gov.uk Daniel.johnson2@leeds.gov.uk