Major plans for converting landmark Stonebridge Mills into homes could be approved by councillors next week.
Developer Stonebridge Mills Ltd are hoping councillors will support scaled-back proposals to convert nine existing buildings into 30 homes, and build 82 new houses on the decaying mill site off Stonebridge Lane in Farnley. Some of the buildings on the site are Grade II Listed.
Members of Leeds City Council’s south and west plans panel are being recommended by council planning officers to approve in principle plans for 112 properties on the site, which dates back to the 18th century.
They replace controversial proposals for 126 dwellings submitted last year which met with concern from local and national civic watchdogs over the impact on the historic site.
The new-build properties are of a modern design featuring brick and render and range from two to four bedrooms.
The latest proposals include the retention of the landmark water tower and partial retention of the Mill Pond, the cobbled streets, stone wall and copings around the Mill Pond and adjacent Listed Buildings.
They also retain internal features within the Listed Buildings such as staircases, ceiling and walls.
Proposals include the loss of 15 buildings and the retention of nine on the site. But the council’s report says most of the buildings proposed for demolition are relatively small and in a serious state of disrepair and adds the most conspicuous, larger, landmark and visible buildings within the site are proposed for conversion.
Local councillors Ann and David Blackburn (Green, Farnley & Wortley) have objected to the latest proposals, along with five further objections from residents. Concerns include the impact on wildlife and the natural environment and the loss of historic buildings on a sensitive site.
But the council planning report concludes:
“The proposal offers an opportunity for the site and its Listed buildings to be preserved and brought into use after decades of being vacant and dereliction.
“It is considered the proposal has been devised to retain the best historic assets on site, while providing the opportunity to develop part of the site with new build properties to generate the necessary funds for the restoration works.
“The proposal retains the landmark chimneys, part of the mill pond and offers extensive areas of open space and landscaping, including the characterful cobbled streets. It is considered the proposal will create a unique new neighbourhood and quality, generous-sized accommodation, which respects the industrial heritage of the site and preserves the best areas of Nature Conservation and trees.”
Councillors are being asked to approve the scheme in principle and delegate to the chief planning officer for final approval, subject to the completion of a legal agreement surrounding green space maintenance and retention of Nature Area, an affordable housing clause on the sale of the 41st new-build property and a new £25,000 pedestrian crossing on Stonebridge Lane.
The four Listed buildings on the site are on the Leeds City Council’s city-wide ‘Buildings at Risk’ register.
The site had previously been earmarked as a potential Tesco Supermarket until the economic downturn.
Read West Leeds Dispatch‘s long-running coverage of the site here.
While you’re here…
Producing your daily dose of West Leeds Dispatch comes at a cost!
There’s the hosting of the website you’re reading now, running our popular e-mail newsletter, membership of independent press regulator Impress, attending summer events, paying for equipment etc etc.
We need at least £200 a month just to break even – that’s money currently coming out of the pockets of dedicated volunteers who are passionate about what’s happening in our communities, connecting you with local groups and organisations as well as holding decision-makers to account and championing local issues.
And all that’s BEFORE we even think about paying something for people’s time – for instance, our editor puts in more than 24 hours a week in his ‘spare’ time to ensure The Dispatch publishes daily.
To put it bluntly, after nearly four years of daily publishing, we are not sustainable!
And we need YOUR help to continue …
For the cost of less than a couple of cups of coffee you can help support local community news and continue to give our communities a voice by taking out a subscription for just £4 per month (that’s just a pound a week).
As a thanks you’ll get your name on a roll of honour on our website. More importantly you will be enabling us to keep bringing you the news that matters about your neighbourhood.
Achieving a bedrock of supporters will give us a firm financial footing and help us plan for the future.
Supporting us couldn’t be easier…
Just follow this link.
or set up a standing order with your bank:
Contact us on Paywestleedsdispatch@gmail.com if you’d like to do this.
Over to you …