A controversial plan for a gym, snooker space and cinema rooms at a home in Leeds’s ‘Millionaire’s Row’ has been allowed after an appeal.
The garden extension upset neighbours in Ling Lane, Scarcroft, before the North and East Plans Panel retrospectively refused it permission and Leeds City Council served an Enforcement Notice for its demolition.
Councillors deemed the Ling Beeches plan to be harmful to neighbour’s living conditions because of a loss of privacy, of sunlight and “overdominance”.
But members of the panel on Thursday noted that John Braithwaite, of the Planning Inspectorate, quashed the Enforcement Notice and granted permission.
In his judgement, Mr Braithwite said: “The most significant feature of this case is the trees that are on the plot. These and ground vegetation screen the building [in] views from Ling Lane and there are only glimpses of the building from other directions.”
Regarding concerns about the building affecting the area’s character, he added: “There is nothing particularly offensive about its design to merit refusal of the appeal.”
Mr Braithwaite imposed a condition that two east-facing first-floor windows on the incomplete plot overlooking a house on The Glade are blocked up.
Speaking after this week’s meeting, panel chairman Coun Neil Walshaw said that the applicant had made the site less visible by planting trees.
He added: “That’s a considerable expense. Clearly the applicant really wants to do their bit.”
The application was first submitted in November 2015 and revised in February last years.
Ling Lane –a mile-long, tree-lined stretch just off the A58 – was revealed to be Yorkshire’s most expensive street last December, with the average property price exceeding £1m.
The area is home to some of the city’s wealthiest residents and sits in the so-called Golden Triangle’ of the most expensive streets in Yorkshire between Harrogate, York and North Leeds.
Homeowners made a flurry of objections after construction began at Ling Beeches before planning permission was granted.
Despite this, Leeds City Council planning officers recommended it for approval.