Collingham housing up for discussion today

Millennium Square and Leeds Civic Hall, Leeds City Centre.
Millennium Square and Leeds Civic Hall, Leeds City Centre.

A planning application that has attracted more than 500 objection letters is set to go before planners today (Thursday, October 30).

The planning department at Leeds City Council (LCC) has also recommended refusal of the outline proposal for up to 150 houses to be built on Leeds Road in Collingham.

According to a report published ahead of the meeting which starts at 1.30pm, the application from Miller Homes is not sustainable and is inacessible, harmful, and out of character with existing development.

The report also says the plans, originally submitted in January 2014, are premature, coming ahead of the review of sites across the city which will decide where is most appropriate for housing.

Harewood Coun Rachael Procter (Con) said: “I have to remain neutral as I am sitting on the panel, but what I will say is that this is too early before the site allocation process.

“The developers are being too premature because we are still undergoing the process and the council felt that at the current time this site, with others, is going to be refused, and that is the correct decision.

“That said, there are many other issues that have not been answered, like expanding local schools, so it is also a common sense decision.”

The site on Leeds Road is currently in use for arable farming and, if planning permission is granted, would be accessible via a new bridge over Collingham Beck that is proposed as part of the development.

The application has received a total of 560 objections, drawing attention to the potential impact on the countryside, problems for parking, increased traffic, and the existence of more appropriate sites elsewhere in the city.

“People understand it is too early and that we are going through the site allocations process, but in any event a lot of local residents don’t think this is an appropriate site to meet local needs,” Coun Procter said.

“The doctors can’t take on any more patients at all, and if the Wetherby schools start to fill up with other develops, like Spofforth Hill, where do the Collingham children go?

“We would prefer a strategic site, like the Headley Hall development which can be fully purpose-built and that is better than all this pepper-potting in all our villages.”

A Miller Homes spokesman said: “We are aware our proposals have been minded for refusal by the planning authority and now await the outcome of the meeting today.”

The outline proposal for up to 325 houses to be built at Spofforth Hill will also be discussed at the meeting at Leeds Civic Hall at 1.30pm.