Plan to build 99 homes in north Leeds is back before decision-makers

A controversial planning application to build 99 homes in Adel is to be put before decision-makers this week after the developer was previously sent back to the drawing board to address councillors’ concerns.
Leeds Civic Hall. Picture: Jonathan GawthorpeLeeds Civic Hall. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe
Leeds Civic Hall. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Just last month, the Leeds City Council’s south and west plans panel deferred David Wilson Homes’ plan to build 99 houses at Church Lane after raising a number of issues including needing more detail on the house designs, redesigning a “bespoke gateway house” to reflect nearby older properties, adding in affordable four-bed homes and ensuring all homes are energy efficient.

But the scheme is back on the agenda at this Thursday’s panel meeting.

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This is the eighth revision of the original plan over the two years, with each version attracting between 149 and 16 objections from the local community, covering issues such as loss of greenfield, the number of properties, too cramped and not in keeping with Adel.

The row of trees which Adel Neighbourhood Forum wants to protect.The row of trees which Adel Neighbourhood Forum wants to protect.
The row of trees which Adel Neighbourhood Forum wants to protect.

Outline planning permission for the site has already been granted, and includes land reserved for a school – but the school does not form part of this reserved matters application.

The report to Thursday’s plans panel says the developer has “taken on board the comments from members and has completely redesigned not only the gate house… but all of the properties”.

It says the scheme complies with environmental policies and adds that while the developer did consider creating four-bed affordable homes, they have decided against including them in the scheme.

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One of the objectors, Coun Barry Anderson (Cons, Adel and Wharfedale) stressed he is not asking the plans panel to refuse the application but he still has issues with the quantity of houses, their design, the lack of four-bed affordable homes, lack of clarity over the presence of a pumping station and that the environmental targets were not higher.

“I accept that this development is going to go ahead. My personal view is if we can get the number to 85-90 houses on this particular site, it would enable more space to be used. I’m angry that the design of this is not in keeping with the area at all.”

The speed at which the new revisions have been turned around has also been called into question by Coun Anderson, who pointed out the meeting has been scheduled on the same day as the deadline given for public consultation on the revised plans.

He said: “Why the rush? The residents are up in arms about the way this has been conducted.

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“How in the space of three weeks have they managed to do all these negotiations which they haven’t been able to do in the past two years.

“Forgetting about the rights and wrongs of the development itself, the time-scales have been condensed - why?”

His concerns were echoed by Adel Neighbourhood Forum who said it feels like there has been an "indecent haste" to deal with the application despite unanswered questions.

Forum co-chair Clive Hudson said: "We have consistently asked for imagery of what the development would look like in this special landscape given its historic links but these images have only been made available on the public website on Monday July 20.

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"As the deadline for residents to make comments on the plans is July 23 this does not give enough time for proper consultation."

Fellow chairman Jeremy Emmott said the forum remains "seriously concerned" with the development, particularly the felling of a row of 15 trees - and the information on which that decision has been based - and the ensuing loss of carbon capture.

He said: "The developers are only proposing to plant small specimen trees to replace them which will have neither the landscape or environmental benefits of the trees they want to remove."

The Yorkshire Evening Post contacted Leeds City Council but no-one wished to comment.

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Thank you

Laura Collins