Plan for 74 OAP flats in Leeds is approved

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Plans for 74 new flats for older people, next to an existing care facility, have been given the go-ahead by Leeds councillors.

The new L-shaped building will sit on land adjacent to Seacroft Grange, on the former probation centre site within the Seacroft District Centre.

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A meeting of Leeds City Council’s North and East Plans Panel was told there was a “desperate need” in the city for this type of home for the elderly.

Councillor Stuart McKenna said the city was “crying out” for more facilities for older people, especially with the authority recently having to shut down a number of homes which had become outdated.

However the fact that a number of trees - some of them up to 40 years old - will have to be cut down to make way for the building caused some concern.

Councillor Ron Grahame said the loss of the trees would “affect the wellbeing of people in the area”.

Chair of the panel councillor Neil Walshaw said there was “no way that the site can be effectively utilised and those trees are saved”.

He said the panel would want to see a “substantial effort” from the applicant, Springfield Healthcare Group, to replace the trees.

But he stressed: “As a city, we do need residential care spaces. We are an ageing society and we cannot get away from that.”

Coun Peter Gruen urged a “proper information exercise” with local residents, because “as long as living trees are cut down people will be critical”.

However coun Graham Latty said: “We are desperately needing this type of accommodation in Leeds. We also need to build housing and we don’t mind building on large bits of green belt to get them. So we shouldn’t get too precious about these trees.”

The panel provisionally approved the application, deferring final approval to senior officers subject to the signing of additional conditions.

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