LEEDS: Council to fight on against 300-home plans

Leeds City Council is expected to continue to fight against a 300-home site.Leeds City Council is expected to continue to fight against a 300-home site.
Leeds City Council is expected to continue to fight against a 300-home site.
Leeds City Council looks set to continue its fight against plans to build hundreds of houses in the outskirts of the city.

An application to build 300 houses, along with a GP practice, shop and pharmacy, in Scholes were rejected by planning chiefs at Leeds City Council earlier this year.

But, after an appeal was lodged by the developers, a council document to be discussed at a plans panel meeting this week has recommended the authority continues to contest it.

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If a council rejects a planning application, the developers have a right to appeal to the government, which has the powers to overturn the authority’s decision if they feel it was unfair.

According to the council report, the application was rejected because it was felt it didn’t demonstrate it would help to mitigate traffic and infrastructure issues in the area.

The document states: “The council considers that the applicant has so far failed to demonstrate that the local highway infrastructure, including the proposed site accesses and the wider highway network which will be affected by additional traffic as a result of this development, is capable of (acceptably) safely accommodating the proposed development and absorbing the additional pressures placed on it by the increase in movements which will be brought about by the proposed development, contributing to an unacceptable cumulative impact on the road network.”

It also cited the strain it felt such a development would put on local schools, adding: “It is clear that the existing primary school within Scholes would not be able to meet the demands placed upon it as a result of the appeal scheme for 300 new dwellings.”

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The application also had more than 300 objections from members of the public.

The report concluded: “Members are therefore asked to consider the recommended refusal reasons set out above, and to agree them for the purposes of contesting the appeal made against non-determination.”

A spokesperson for joint applicants David Wilson Homes Yorkshire West and GMI Property said: “The proposed residential site in Scholes will bring 300 new homes, and many jobs to the area, as well as a new doctors surgery, pharmacy and six-acre public park, creating a thriving new community.

“We will further support the local area by making significant financial donations of around £2million as part of our CIL contributions; improving roads; and gifting Scholes Primary School the land adjacent for future expansion.

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“The area for the proposed residential site was earmarked for development by Leeds City Council around 20 years ago, and it is disappointing that we are having to appeal at a time when there is a preference to release a large greenbelt heritage site at nearby Parlington instead, which is in an unsustainable location and has received thousands of objections.

“Under our application we feel the benefits of the Scholes proposal will bring many positives to this part of Leeds.”

A decision on the site is expected to be made later this year.