This former Leeds High School could soon become new homes

A former school in West Leeds could soon become a housing estate.

The former Wortley High School site, which closed in 2011.
The former Wortley High School site, which closed in 2011.

Plans to build 59 homes, along with public open space, on the former site of Wortley High School in Swallow Crescent are set to be discussed by members of Leeds City Council’s south and west plans panel.

However, the plans have received more than 20 objections from members of the public, who say the development could worsen traffic and parking problems in the area.

Applicants Keepmoat Homes submitted plans for five two-bedroom, 42 three-bedroom and 12 four-bedroom houses on the site.

The plans state the properties would be between two and three storeys in height, constructed of brick and could include canopies above the front doors.

Eight of the units would be affordable homes.

A total of 22 letters of objection were submitted by members of the public, some of which referred to the fact very few houses on nearby Swallow Crescent had any off-street parking.

Others complained of the increased traffic such a development would bring to the area.

Coun Ann Blackburn (Green, Farnley and Wortley) objected to the application, saying the proposal was over-intensive with little on-site open space. She also claimed there had been no consultation with ward members.

These concerns were echoed by fellow Green councillor David Blackburn, who added the size of the proposed public space was too small.

However, a report from council officers concludes the development should be approved, subject to conditions, including money to improve local bus stops and green spaces.

It states: “The proposal is considered to comply with both national and local planning policy. The benefits of delivering new housing in this sustainable location are considered to outweigh any limited harm identified.

“On this basis the application is recommended for approval. The application will develop a brownfield site which is located in a designated regeneration area (West Leeds Gateway), and which is proposed to be allocated for housing.

“The proposal utilises an existing access and it is considered the previous school use would have generated more traffic, when compared to this proposal.

“The schemes offer other benefits, it provides quality new housing which willcontribute towards the requirements of housing delivery, offers an element ofaffordable housing on-site, and green space provision.

“It is considered these benefits outweigh any harm and constitute sustainable development. On balance, it is therefore recommended that this application is approved, subject to the suggested conditions.”

The school merged with West Leeds High School in 2009, before the site closed permanently in 2011.

The meeting of the South and West Plans panel takes place on Thursday, May 30.