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CHURCH SITE: Plans for 163 homes set for final approval

CHURCH SITE: Plans for 163 homes set for final approval

Image: LDRS

Plans to build more than 160 houses in a former church site in east Leeds are set to go before Leeds City Council decision-makers next week.

Senior councillors, including leader of the council James Lewis, have spoken out against plans for a site in Church Lane, Mickelfield, which they claim have a lack of green space and contain too many houses.

In response, the developers have proposed the number of houses was reduced from 172 to 163 homes, 25 of which would be classified as affordable housing.

Although outline planning permission was granted for the site in 2019, the current reserved matters application include further details about appearance, landscaping, layout and size.

A report into the plans said the units would be a mix of flats, semi-detached and detached houses. Plans also include further pedestrian and cycling links, as well as two areas of public open space to the south of the site.

The original outline plan hoped to create 172 houses on the site, which led to Coun Lewis, along with fellow Labour councillor Mary Harland, led concerns about over-development of the site.

Quoting their letter, the report added: “We believe that 172 houses is too many for the site at a density of 37 per-hectare excluding the allocated green space.

“This is out of character with the surrounding area and provides poor
amenity for potential future residents of the site. We note that the
outstanding permission included a figure of around 150 dwellings for the site and this is a more suitable figure.”

They added that there was not enough green space in the plans, while new public rights of way were not wide enough.Their concerns were echoed by further letters of objection from local residents as well as Mickelfield Parish Council.

The report, however, recommends members of the plans panel approve the plans, subject to conditions, including a landscape management plan from developers.

It stated: “Officers have also sought to address the concerns raised by ward members and local residents and in this instance, taking into account all relevant factors, including representations against the development, the benefits of the scheme are considered to outweigh any harm created and therefore the planning balance weighs heavily in favour of granting planning permission.

“The development accords with those policies of the Development Plan relevant to the consideration of the reserved matters and Members are asked to support the officer recommendation and to grant reserved matters approval subject to conditions stated above and any others considered relevant and necessary.”

Members of the council’s South and East Plans panel will meet to discuss the plans on Thursday, March 18.

Words: Richard Beecham, Local Democracy Reporter

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