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Wetherby retirement homes plan goes to appeal

Millennium Square and Leeds Civic Hall, Leeds City Centre, where the North East Plans Panel meets to discuss planning applications. Picture: Mark Bickerdike.

Millennium Square and Leeds Civic Hall, Leeds City Centre, where the North East Plans Panel meets to discuss planning applications. Picture: Mark Bickerdike.

Plans for 63 sheltered apartments for the elderly have been appealed to the planning inspectorate.

Originally submitted in August 2013 to Leeds City Council (LCC), developers Churchill Retirement Living appealed to the planning inspectorate for non determination after almost a year had elapsed.

The appeal has now been heard and the planning inspectorate is expected to come to a decision in the next two months.

Churchill Retirement Living director Andrew Burgess said: “We were disappointed with the whole process because of delays and a change in approach from LCC. We explained all that at the planning appeal so I think the inspector will have some comments on that too.

“We are a national developer, but this would be our first development in West Yorkshire. The decisions we tried to agree with the council were very disappointing with delays.

“We finished a planning inquiry on July 11 and we are now waiting for the planning inspector’s decision, which could be issued any time between now and October.”

In a letter to the Wetherby News, Mr Burgess wrote: “We are very hopeful of a positive outcome and this being the case we propose to start work as soon as possible in order to deliever significant improvements to the local environment and to address the significant local demand for sheltered accommodation for the elderly.”

Plans for the sheltered apartments would see the redevelopment of the former Benfield Motors car showroom, with associated offices and workshops, staff facilities, parts store, paint shop together with a car valeting bay on Deighton Road.

An LCC spokesman said: “We always endeavour to ensure that planning applications are considered and determined at the earliest possible date.

“This application will now be considered by an appeals inspector and it would therefore not be appropriate to comment further at this stage.”

According to the planning statement, the accomodation would cater for elderly residents, normally over 70 years of age, who already live locally and wish to retain their independence.

The statement also said that, during the pre-application process, careful consideration was given to ensure the development would not result in material harm to the living conditions of adjoining residents, and that the development will include a landscaped space around the building maintained by the management company.

 

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