99 homes plans approved by Leeds councillors

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Permission has been granted for 99 houses to be built in north Leeds, despite residents’ claims that the plans were a “dog’s dinner”.

It follows a two-year back and forth between developers David Wilson Homes and Leeds City Council over plans to build 99 houses at Church Lane, Adel, with issues raised around affordable homes, the design of the houses and energy efficiency.

While outline permission for the site had already been granted, the latest reserved matters application seen this week – which outlines housing plans in further detail – was the eighth revision of the original plan submitted over the two years.

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A representative from Adel Neighbourhood Forum told the meeting he was concerned that the plans could involve the felling of trees.

A recent artist impression of the site, as seen from a nearby field. (Credit: David Wilson Homes)A recent artist impression of the site, as seen from a nearby field. (Credit: David Wilson Homes)
A recent artist impression of the site, as seen from a nearby field. (Credit: David Wilson Homes)

He added: “These trees are a valuable asset in what is a cramped development and should be retained.

“We believe the revised design is worse than before. They are a dog’s dinner of vaguely neo-Georgian architecture. There is no precedent near the site for this cheap-looking architecture.”

Local councillor Barry Anderson (Con) complained there were only 35 houses that had been earmarked for climate change-reducing measures, and that it was not clear whether these would be fitted to the allocated affordable homes for the site.

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He added: “It’s now up to us to design quality and correct developments – this is not what is happening here.

“We think there is a need for 4 bed affordable properties on the site.

“I am not saying don’t accept the application – it needs to be built – you need to meet with us and show flexibility – you need to do what is best for the area.”

Mark Jones, representing the developers, said: “The scheme will comply with policies. We have shown a 22 per cent carbon emission reduction.

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“We are willing to meet the requirements of policies and in some cases we are exceeding them.

“Criticism of not looking at this properly is a bit unfair. We have gone away and made changes each time.

“I don’t think we’ll ever win on design and win over the locals. I personally think we have made a big jump from last month and there’s not much further we can go on this.”

Commenting on the application, Coun Kayleigh Brooks (Lab) said: “I never stood for election to vote through something a local area doesn’t want.

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“But from a planning perspective I know there is nothing we can turn it down on. It’s up to us as members to push for more robust planning policy.

“I sadly can’t see anything to turn this down on, but I fully understand where the local community is coming from.”

Coun Colin Campbell (Lib Dem): “This is a housing site – there has never been a dispute about that – this constrains us in what we can ask for.

“It meets the criteria of the outline – the developer has moved a long way to meeting most of the things that we asked for. They have improved the designs tremendously in my opinion.”

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Campaigners had complained that an arboricultural report submitted to the council on their behalf earlier this week had not yet been uploaded by officers to the authority’s online planning website. The meeting was told by council officers that this was an administrative oversight.

Coun Ryan Stephenson (Con) said: “It is not good enough for officers to say they didn’t have time to upload something that came in on Tuesday, when it was something we should have seen.”

A council legal officer said: “This was raised by the forum – we allowed (campaigner) Mr Emmett to address the panel. In substance there has been an executive summary of that (report).”

Meeting chairwoman Coun Caroline Gruen (Lab) said: “The developer has shown willing, it’s not ideal, it’s not to my personal taste, but it has been moved forward.”

A vote was then taken to accept the proposals in principle and delegate the decision to officers. Seven in favour and two against.