Homes plan on greenbelt land at edge of historical Leeds ‘gem’ to be laid out

POPULAR SPACE: A fun run in the grounds of the Bramham Park Estate.
POPULAR SPACE: A fun run in the grounds of the Bramham Park Estate.
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Plans for up to 150 homes on green belt land at the edge of one of Leeds’s historical “gems” are set to be laid out.

The landowner of the Bramham Park Estate is due to make a pre-application presentation for a development, which would also include providing new public open space, at the city’s North and East Plans Panel meeting.

Leeds City Council documents show that the site is between the residential areas known as The Congreves and The Drive in Bardsey, and forms the western extremity of the historical estate.

In order to compensate for developing on green belt – protected land where urban sprawl is prevented – Grade I, II* and II-listed buildings within the grounds could be restored if plans are later approved.

But Leeds Civic Trust has warned that such trade-offs only work if the benefit to the public outweighs any damage done.

Director designate Martin Hamilton said: “It’s a hugely important site, it really is a gem, and protecting a building and site with a history of Bramham Park’s is incredibly important.

“I think we’ve got to tread very carefully.

“Where you start to propose things that are contrary to policy, there has to be a strong case in doing that.

“The test has to be do local residents, do the public agree with that?”

A council document drafted for the panel reads: “The proposals for the site are still emerging and consequently many of the policy and technical issues are not resolved and are likely to be the subject of ongoing discussions. The purpose of the pre-application presentation is to allow the landowners to present and explain their proposals to the Panel and for Panel Members to ask questions and to consider and comment on them.”

Two, three, four and five-bedroom houses are proposed, along with a a seven-hectare public park.

The site has a total of 27 listed buildings. The document reads: “A number of buildings and structures are in need of repairs and restoration works which requires significant financial input. The Estate have sought funding from a variety of sources but this is now limited to the extent that all areas have been exhausted.”

The panel is at 1.30pm on Thursday at Civic Hall.

The House of Bramham Park was built in 1698 by Robert Benson, 1st Lord Bingley, in the style of Tuscan villas he had seen while travelling Europe.

It has been home of the Lane Fox family for 300 years.

But the 66-acre grounds are just as popular with visitors.

The applicant held a consultation event on October 19 at Bardsey Village Hall, which was attended by approximately 220 people.

Some areas of concern included potential flooding, the impact on traffic, the effect on nearby schools and doctor surgeries and the loss of green belt.

Council documents show that there was general support for the public park aspect of the plans.

Alex Newman, partner at Irwin Mitchell in Leeds

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