Councillors have refused plans for a new six-storey student residential accommodation on Burley Road – due to it overlooking an existing alcohol recovery centre.
The plans to demolish Index House and demolish it for student accommodation were deferred by councillors last July amid concerns over highways issues and it overlooking a nearby school and the neighbouring Five Ways Recovery Academy.
Applicant Torsion’s proposals, which feature 44 bed spaces and be a mix of “cluster” and studio apartments, would also include a communal lounge and kitchen facilities. The number of bed spaces had been reduced from 57 in the original application.
Torsion amended the scheme since last July by pulling the upper storeys of the building away from the terrace and building and amending the rear elevation of the building to include projecting bay windows to prevent direct overlooking of the terrace.
The council had received 38 letters of objection against the scheme, as well as objections from 107 pupils of nearby Rosebank Primary School.
Councillors on the south and west plans panel today refused the plans.
Cllr Neil Walshaw (Lab, Headingley) told the meeting: “I was particularly struck by the visit to the balcony this morning and you could see the relationship between the psoposlas to Five Ways. You could see the absolute need and necessity for Five Ways to have that private space to carry out its important work.
“You also cannot understate the importance of Rosebank Primary School. It is in a very deprived area of Leeds and it is an outstanding school which does important work,”
Cllr Barry Anderson (Cons, Adel & Wharfedale) praised Cllr Kayleigh Brooks (Lab, Hyde Park & Woodhouse) for her opposition to the plans, which last year came to plans panel with a planning officer’s recommendation to approve it.
Cllr Anderson added: “We need to be sure in future how we can can safeguard getting correct and quality advice. If plans panel had gone along with this when it first come through would have approved this and we would have been wrong to do so. It has put so many people through so much upset and worry when the application wasn’t acceptable in the first place.”
Cllr Jools Heselwood (Lab, Bramley & Stanningley) said it was ‘unbelievable’ that the applicant and planning officers didn’t know where Five Ways was.
Planning officers apologised for the oversight, but in mitigation said the proposals were originally considered when it was impossible to carry out site visits due to the Coronavirus pandemic.