Councils set to give builders go-ahead for Otley ‘green belt’ homes

FORMER green belt land in Otley looks set for development because of the housing crisis in Leeds.

Land at Rumple Croft in the market town was taken out of the city’s green belt nearly two decades ago under the Unitary Development Plan.

Over the years Leeds City Council has fought to defend these sorts of sites from developers.

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But appeals which have been overturned by Government Planning Inspectors have landed the council with significant legal costs because they have ruled that the council does not have a five-year supply of available housing land.

Now in a pre-application report to the council’s Plans Panel West officers have stated that it is “acceptable in principal” to develop the greenfield site on the Weston Estate.

The report states: “Members will be aware that the Council attempted unsuccessfully to defend at appeal a number of refusals of applications for housing on Phase Two and Phase Three Greenfield UDPR sites (although this was not one of those appeal sites).

“On each occasion, the Inspector considered that the five-year supply of available housing land in the Leeds area fell demonstrably short and that the release of the site would not have any marked effect on regeneration prospects.

“Substantial costs were awarded against the Council in respect of these appeals and the Council’s Executive Board subsequently resolved that it would not seek to resist development of Phase Two and Three Greenfield sites as a matter of principle.

“Officers are therefore of the view that the development of this site for housing is acceptable in principle although there are significant matters of detail to resolve.”

The panel, which is set to meet on Thursday, are asked to note that the site is required to deliver 35 per cent affordable housing.

Developers Taylor Wimpey are set to present their ideas to the panel before submitting a formal planning application.

Members of the panel will then decide whether they think the formal plans are acceptable.

Campaigners and local residents voiced their concerns about the impact of the development earlier this year when the scheme to build up to 100 new homes was revealed.

In Bradford, councilors are to consider two housing schemes that could see almost 700 homes built.

One for around 400 homes is on a site between Ingleby Road and Cemetery Road, formerly occupied by industrial buildings owned by Rentokil (now demolished) and Grattan’s (being demolished).

The outline application includes a plan for a sports pitch, changing room and car park to the south of Northside Road.

Just three people have objected to the plans and a council report is recommending that councillors give the scheme the go ahead.

The second Bradford scheme is for 292 homes, also an outline application, on land at Allerton Lane. Thirty two letters of objection have been sent to the council.

One objector said the plan “is another nail in the coffin to our green and pleasant land.”

A report says that it could, in principle, be given permission even though the land is designated as a “safeguarded greenfield site”.

The report concludes: “This relatively large area of land will help boost the supply of new homes at a time when housing delivery has dropped to undesirably low levels.”

Councillors will discuss the schemes on September 18.