Words: Richard Beecham, Local Democracy Reporter
Plans to build more than 150 houses on the former site of a college campus next to one of the busiest routes into West Leeds have been approved by Leeds City Council planning chiefs.
Proposals to build 152 homes on the former Horsforth Campus off Leeds City College in Calverley Lane went before members of the council’s City Plans Panel for the third time.
Plans for the site had been brought forward by the college along with Galliford Try Partners and Stonewater, and are made up of 100 per cent affordable housing.
Blueprints had been kicked back and forth between developers and Leeds city councillors for months, with many elected members continuing to have concerns around the designs.
But, at a meeting on Thursday, members of the committee voted almost unanimously in favour of the plans, with some claiming the plans were a vast improvement on previous forms of the plans.
Coun Graham Latty (Cons, Guiseley & Rawdon) said:
“I find the appearance of the place has improved no end, apart from the incredibly ugly dormers.”
Coun David Blackburn* (Green, Farnley & Wortley) said:
“It’s a vast improvement on what was there previously. The apartment block has broken it up, so all my objections that I had to it at the last meeting seem to have gone.”
Coun Caroline Gruen** (Lab, Bramley & Stanningley) said:
“It now looks as if someone actually thought about the design and that it looks like that on purpose – I must say it is well improved.
“I feel it is a shame that it has come back twice before we get this level of design. Developers should be bringing designs of this quality to us in the first instance.”
Following a high court ruling last year, the site had also been returned to the green belt. The space currently houses college buildings previously used for teaching and greenhouses, as well as car parks and grassed areas with trees.
Despite the green belt status, a meeting of the panel in October 2020 agreed that, as the site was previously developed and currently unused, development should be allowed in principle.
More advanced plans then went before the panel on February 25, but members still raised questions around the housing types and the size of the apartment block. Other concerns around green space, parking and the lighting of cycle routes were also made.
Councillors voted unanimously in favour of the latest plans at a meeting of the panel on Thursday, April 8.
* The full list of candidates in Bramley & Stanningley Ward in the 6 May local elections is:
Elizabeth Anne Bee – Liberal Democrats
Adam Daniel Cook – Conservative Party
Caroline Anne Gruen – Labour Party
Clive Richard Lord – Green Party
Daniel Paul Whetstone – Social Democratic Party
** The full list of candidates in Farnley & Wortley Ward in the 6 May local elections is:
David Blackburn – Green Party
Ian Cowling – Yorkshire Party
Maria Anne Frank – Liberal Democrats
Matt Gibson – Labour Party
Cormac John Trigg – Conservative Party