Controversial plans to build 92 homes on a greenfield site in Morley have got the go ahead just weeks after councillors voted to reject them.
Persimmon Homes is to build the homes Daisy Hill, Morley, and the decision to allow development is a blow to hundreds of residents in the area who had opposed the scheme.
Members of the council’s east plans panel last month voted to reject the application and asked for a report setting out formal reasons for refusal to be brought to their next meeting.
The applicants then lodged an appeal and, following a recent reorganisation of the council’s plans panels, the issue fell to the new south and west panel to deal with afresh.
And the south and west panel has agreed the appeal not be contested and given officers the authority to approve the scheme, after being advised there was little prospect of winning the appeal.
The council had pursued a policy of refusing greenfield housing applications arguing brownfield land should be developed first. But having lost a string of planning appeals, and run up costs of over £1m, senior councillors last year agreed greenfield sites earmarked for development in the longer term, known as phase two and three sites, be released for possible development.
Mr David Newbury, area planning manager, said: “It is officers’ view that it would be extremely difficult to find grounds to oppose the scheme at appeal.”
He said the site was allocated for development in the Unitary Development Plan, a blueprint approved in the 1990s to guide development across the city.
Mr Newbury pointed out other planning requirements, including the provision of affordable homes cash contributions for education, off-site highways and public transport, were all met by the applicants.
Mr Dave Paul, of Morley Against Reckless Development (MARC), said: “Why are we building on greenfield sites like Daisy Hill when there are brownfield sites available? Schools in the area are full and simply giving money is not the answer.”