Leeds ‘monstrosity’ home row rumbles on

View from the rear of the newly-built house (on left) on land at 56 The Drive, Manston, which is the subject of a planning dispute.
View from the rear of the newly-built house (on left) on land at 56 The Drive, Manston, which is the subject of a planning dispute.
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A long-running planning wrangle over a Leeds house objectors have labelled “a monstrosity” is to rumble on after councillors rejected the latest proposals to alter the property.

The seven-year saga began when Leeds City Council gave consent in 2005 for a home to be built in the side garden of a house in The Drive, Cross Gates.

But the building constructed was bigger than the approved application, triggering a planning row that has included appeals and High Court and Magistrates Court hearings.

In the latest round of the saga, the council’s east plans panel refused an application submitted by Mr Ian Gordon for alterations to the property.

The panel heard the latest proposal was to take down the front and back walls and rebuild them in line with the original approval.

But the height remains a stumbling block, with the council arguing it is above the permitted 10.4m – something Mr Gordon disputes.

A report to the panel said a High Court ruling had established it should be 10.4m high when measured from the ground level as it existed before building work began.

The council and objectors argue ground levels have been raised to achieve the 10.4m figure. Mr Gordon says levels have been restored to their original position.

The council received 88 letters of objection to the latest scheme, including one from the Cross Gates Watch Residents Association which said: ‘The existing building is significantly higher than that allowed and clearly towers over adjoining properties’.

It added the building was overbearing and intrusive.

The council report recommending refusal said: “Even in its revised form the excessive height and resulting scale, mass, bulk and overall design of the dwelling relative to its immediate neighbouring properties would cause significant harm to the character and appearance of the area.”

Coun David Congreve, panel chairman, said given the application was unacceptable and the history it should be refused.

Mr Gordon now has the option of appealing against the refusal or submitting a new application.

Mr Eamon Judge, of the association, said after the meeting: “There is nothing in planning law to stop the applicant putting in new applications and the only limitation is the depth of his pocket.”

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