Scarcroft proposal gains public support

NAWN 1404238AM1 Jeremy Good of England and Lyle. (1404238AM1)
NAWN 1404238AM1 Jeremy Good of England and Lyle. (1404238AM1)

Developers have confirmed that they are working towards submitting a planning application for the redevelopment of the former NPower offices site in Scarcroft.

This decision follows a second public consultation last month, when residents visted the site and looked at the proposals for houses that would replace the existing office buildings now NPower has relocated to Leeds city centre.

This meeting proved much more successful than an earlier public consultation held in July 2013, with the number of people in favour of the proposal increasing from 56 per cent to 70 per cent.

Jeremy Good, of England and Lyle, said: “This level of support is very high in our experience and when one is proposing new housing in a relatively small settlement.

“At the first consultation the level of support for the housing was 56 per cent and we feel that the changes made to the scheme have been well received by local residents as they directly respond to fears about the scheme raised previously.

“Following the consultation and discussions with the planners and ward members we have further changes to make to the scheme but we are working towards a planning application in the near future.”

Objections raised by local residents at last year’s meeting were chiefly concerned with the developments impact on rural views, traffic, and the additional pressure on schools and health services.

The most recent consultation put forward an amended proposal that was well received as a good design, though the issues of disturbance, the loss of greenfield sites, and overdevelopment were raised.

The site also includes the Grade II listed Scarcroft Lodge, a public open space that may be transferred to the parish, and a cricket pitch gifted to the local community.

A Scarcroft Parish Council spokesperson said: “We had a survey in 2011 and we formed a development group to be able to write our neighbourhood plan according to the powers the Localism Act had given us.

“We said that we couldn’t say we didn’t want no development because that would not be realistic, and many were in favour of the NPower site if Scarcroft had to be developed.

“The benefits that we would gain as a village from accepting these proposals are quite large, but we are very concerned about the deterioration of the listed building Scarcroft Lodge and that would have to be put right.

“We also desperately need the land they would donate to the village because we have very little publicly owned space, so that is an attractive offer. But it is really up to the city planners.”