Latest plans for 289 homes in West Ardsley to go before Leeds planning chiefs

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Further details about plans to build hundreds of homes on fields in West Ardsley are set to go before planning chiefs next week.

The controversial plans from Redrow Homes for the development off Haigh Moor Road attracted thousands of objections at an earlier stage of the planning process.

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But, having had plans approved in principle by planning chiefs in 2020, more detailed blueprints have been submitted to Leeds City Council, with a final decision expected to be made at a meeting next week.

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The site is next to Haigh Woods, a beauty spot in West Ardsley.The site is next to Haigh Woods, a beauty spot in West Ardsley.
The site is next to Haigh Woods, a beauty spot in West Ardsley.

The plans are split between four parcels of land, the largest of which, to the south of the wider site and accessed from Haigh Moor Road, will host 164 houses. An area to the northwest of the site will be developed with "up to 54" houses, while another - accessed through Sandringham Drive - will create around 35 homes. The northernmost parcel of land, to be accessed directly off Westerton Road would hold around 36 homes.

There would be 18 one or two bed apartments, 71 two-bed houses, 79 three-bed, 112 four-bed and nine five bed houses. Of the 289 houses, 43 will be designated as affordable.

Although outline plans had originally been rejected by a Leeds City Council plans panel back in February 2020, updated plans were approved the following May. In return for approval, the council put numerous obligations on the developers, including providing 15 per cent affordable housing, £900,000 for improvements to the nearby Tingley Roundabout, a further £220,000 towards nearby road improvements and £2.5m in Haigh Wood maintenance over five years.

The application has been met with fierce local opposition, with more than 3,400 objections on the original outline proposals, and a further 82 on the new reserved matters application.

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Among the latest objections are claims that the site could create a rat-run for cars accessing Batley Road, and that drainage and sewer systems are "inadequate and unacceptable".

The report also stated locals complained both Leeds City Council and Redrow had "extremely poor and unacceptable communications".

Nevertheless, the report added: "Redrow consulted with the surrounding community through leaflet drops prior to the application being submitted. It has also met and discussed the proposal with Ward members and West Ardsley Action Group (WAAG) during the course of the application."

At previous plans panel meetings, concerns about a lack of "schools, doctors and other amenities" were raised.

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Responding to this, the latest council report states: "These issues were addressed through the allocation of the sites in the SAP prior to the Outline consent. Sites for potential schools were addressed within the SAP and local Clinical Commissioning Groups are responsible for medical facilities in the future."

The SAP refers to Site Allocations Plan - effectively Leeds City Council's masterplan for where houses should be built over the coming years.

On concerns around traffic congestion on nearby roads, the report added: "Traffic generation was modelled as part of the outline consent and significant contributions were secured through the legal agreement to improve junctions and promote sustainable modes of travel."

The report, by Leeds City Council officers, recommended councillors approve the plans, stating: "The amended proposal is considered to be acceptable in terms of the scale, density, layout and design detailing of the propose dwellings. The scheme has created a satisfactory layout that provides a good mixture of housing that is required within the area.

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"The site is an important strategic housing site and the proposed layout provides a housing scheme that responds to the general character of the wider area, whilst enhancing biodiversity across the site and maintaining the Woodlands.

"With consideration being given to all other matters, the proposal is considered to be acceptable and recommended for approval subject to conditions."

Leeds City Council's south and west plans panel will meet to discuss the plans on Thursday, April 14.