Scholes homes plan rejected ahead of council’s ongoing work

The proposed development off Morwick Grove in Scholes. (S)

The proposed development off Morwick Grove in Scholes. (S)

A planning application for up to 45 houses in Scholes has been rejected as premature by Leeds City Council (LCC).

The outline proposal, including means of access, was submitted for land off Morwick Grove in Scholes by Scholes Development Company, Barratt Homes, and David Wilson Homes in February 2014.

Refused this month, LCC said it would be premature to permit development on the proposed site before ongoing work on various planning documents is complete.

LCC executive member for neighbourhoods, planning, and personnel Coun Peter Gruen said: “This application has been carefully considered taking account of planning policies and the fact that the land is identified as a Protected Area of Search (PAS).

“It has been deemed inappropriate to grant permission for housing on this site now ahead of the on-going working relating to the site allocations plans and also the neighbourhood plan review.

“This work will identify which sites should be brought forward for development together with the infrastructure which will be needed to support that growth.

“We believe that releasing this site in advance of that work would not be justified and would prejudice the comprehensive planning of future growth and infrastructure of the village in a plan-led way.”

There are several other pending applications for the Wetherby area before LCC, some of which would see development on other PAS sites if given the go ahead.

Coun Gruen said that though all applications are individually considered, the council’s interim policy on PAS sites is very clear.

“We consider each case on its own merits. That said, it either fits or doesn’t fit with our policy,” he said.

“We look at the individual character of settlements where the site is and whether it has a natural affinity to existing settlements, and we have a policy of 65 per cent brownfield sites first, so all those different factors play into whether or not it is suitable.

“We have always said LCC is open for business but not at any cost. We are not prepared to say yes to anything, we want quality developments that enhance rather than detract from our local communities and developers will need to fit into that picture.”

Local opposition to the Morwick Grove plan highlighted traffic as a problem if the development was passed.

According to LCC the application was also refused because of concerns relating to the proposed access arrangements and also poor public transport connections.

Matthew Drake, land manager at Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes, said: “We are in the process of reviewing the details of the council’s refusal of the planning application.

“This review will occur alongside the receipt of the inspector’s report on the core strategy. Following this work we will consider the appropriate action moving forward.”




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