North Leeds: Flats plan back to drawing board over ‘slum’ sizes

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Controversial Proposals to convert a former day care centre in north Leeds into 26 flats have been deferred by planners after concerns were raised over the size of the accommodation.

Councillors on the South and West Plans Panel said the scheme, to convert Grove Villas on Cardigan Road, Headingley, would leave flats only suitable for “cave dwellers” and requested further changes before considering approval.

Coun Neil Walshaw (Lab, Headingley) spoke out against the plans – which had attracted 42 letters of objection from local residents – saying: “Although the developers have promised this won’t be turned into student housing accommodation, we’ve heard similar promises before. It’s also impossible to get past the small size of the units, the area needs larger homes.”

Planning committee member Coun Robert Finnigan said the development needed “more imagination”, adding: “Unless you are a cave dweller trying to escape the bedroom tax then you really wouldn’t want flats of that size.

“The developers can do better than this and get better rent out of it.”

Coun Elizabeth Nash added: “In 50 years, these flats would be regarded as slums. You can’t swing a cat in flats of these sizes. I don’t want to go down in history as putting my name to something of this standard.”