Early plans for 875 new homes off York Road approved in principle by Leeds City Council

Early plans to build 875 homes have been approved in principle by Leeds planning chiefs, despite some having misgivings about the application.

Designs for the homes on a site off York Road were submitted to Leeds City Council, and had been discussed by the authority’s City Plans Panel, which rules on significant planning applications in the district.

However, despite ultimately coming out in favour of the plans, some were concerned about the designs of the houses and whether extra doctor and school provision would be met for the area’s growing population.

Speaking at a meeting of the panel, Coun Caroline Gruen (Lab) said: “I would want more reassurance than I currently have on health provision before I agree.

Early plans to build 875 homes have been approved in principle by Leeds planning chiefs, despite some having misgivings about the application.

“If we accept the amount of greenspace, which is generous, it does not give much scope to do anything much different from what is already there.

“I worry about lack of consistency of high quality in terms of design. We can call it indicative, but it will inevitably come back in a form where we do not find up to standards, unless we say something now.”

The development would form part of the East Leeds Extension – a plan to develop 233 hectares of land in Swarcliffe, Whinmoor and Crossgates for 5,000 homes in the coming years.

As the development would increase demand for school places, it is expected that a financial contribution would have to be made by the developers to provide the equivalent of two form of entry primary school.

Among the other conditions proposed by Leeds City Council officers was a contribution of £19 million towards the building of the east Leeds orbital road, a £750,000 contribution to improve local bus services, £250,000 towards cycling improvements, and the building of on-site green spaces.

Coun Dan Cohen (Con) said: “We are going to be approving a quantum of development where green spaces are going to be. We aren’t left with a whole lot of choice about where houses are situated.

“I am sorry, I don’t think it is good enough – Coun Gruen is absolutely right. The development should retain that rural feel.

“This development is being driven by the requirement of funding towards ELOR. I don’t believe that should be our primary consideration.

“I don’t feel I can support this today.”

Coun Kayleigh Brooks (Lab) added: “Similarly to Coun Cohen, I don’t feel as strongly that it’s overdevelopment, but I don’t feel like I’ve been given enough information to form that view or not form that view.

“It’s confusing as to what I’m being asked to agree to.”

Coun Colin Campbell (Lib Dem) said: “Members need to understand the relationship between the central and southern section.

“If we can’t have a discussion about the entirety of the site, then we can’t but that is a mistake.”

The members voted in principle for the recommendation, agreeing to delegate further details and negotiations with developers to council officers.

More detailed versions of the plans – known as reserved matters – will go before members of the panel for approval at a later date.