Plans revealed to build a 'new community' of 800 homes in Wetherby, Leeds

Ongoing plans to build a “new community” of up to 800 new homes outside Wetherby are set to go back before council planning chiefs at a meeting next week.

An application for outline planning permission to build up to 800 homes, a primary school and a “food store” off Racecourse Approach in Wetherby are set to go before the authority’s city plans panel, after earlier plans were put on hold back in March.

The site in Wetherby, for which the houses are planned.

The site in Wetherby, for which the houses are planned.

The plans have attracted objections from locals, with claims that such a large development would put undue strain on local infrastructure.

An earlier form of the application went before plans panel on March 28, but panel members raised a number of concerns around issues including school provision, public transport and the concern that it could lead to an “isolated” community.

The site has since been included in the council’s Site Allocations Plan (SAP) which was adopted earlier this summer. This means the authority now recognises the site as suitable for new housing.

A report by Leeds City Council officers into the latest form of the plans states: “Further to the panel meeting, the applicant has sought to address the various issued raised by the panel, while matters relating to the SAP have significantly advanced which provides clarity to the acceptability of the site being allocated for residential development.”

It adds the updated plans include an offer from the applicant to fund a shuttle bus for 10 years to help with accessibility to the site, as well as identifying potential locations on the site for a two-form entry primary school.

Following concerns over a lack of consultation with the public, the applicant carried out a consultation event on June 7 at Wetherby Town Hall. The council report states the main concerns from the public included issues around scale, traffic congestion, parking, air quality, education and loss of ecology and agricultural land.

It adds that a total of 82 objection letters were received by the council since the March meeting, related to numerous issues including the scale of the development and claims the site is unsuitable for housing.

The report recommends the panel defers and delegates the plans to the chief planning officer with a number of financial conditions on developers Taylor Wimpey.

These include a provision of 35 per cent affordable housing on the site, £2.7m towards building a primary school on site and in excess of £500,000 in travel and public transport infrastructure contributions. Conditions such as these are known as s106 agreements.

It concludes: “The proposed development is considered to be sustainable development and will deliver much needed housing over the plan period, including a significant level of affordable housing.

“With the detailed planning conditions imposed, the details that will come through the Reserved Matters and the s106 obligations that will be secured, ensures that this will be a sustainable form of development and compliant with the development plan and the guidance set out within the National Planning Policy Framework, consequently the application is recommended for approval, subject to the completion of the s106 agreement and planning conditions as set out above.”

The meeting takes place on Thursday, August 29.