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Wortley: Cliff Cottage plans withdrawn by developer

Plans to demolish ‘unsafe’ Cliff Cottage and build four terrace houses as part of a new £8m gated community in Wortley have been withdrawn by developers this week.

Priestley Homes has been developing the wider Cliff House mansion site, in Fawcett Lane, into flats and houses for several years.

Last November the fourth and final phase of the project was submitted, with fresh plans for contemporary four-bedroom terrace houses on the Cliff Cottage site.

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In January council officers raised concerns about some elements of the proposals, including the dominance of the proposed homes. The developers submitted revised plans in early August, but council landscaping officers said they still could not support the proposals.

An additional report submitted to the council by structural engineers MP Consulting last month labelled the cottage building ‘highly unsafe’ and said: “The building is now in a dreadful state of repair, all original roof covering has been lost with some temporary sheeting laid on the rear elevation for safety reasons.

“Severe water ingress has caused the failure of several key structural members. Truss bearings have failed, timber lintels have collapsed resulting in areas of unsupported masonry. First floor ceiling has collapsed onto the floor below, which in turn has also failed.

“There is evidence of fire damage to timbers and structural movement of first floor walls. Trees are growing from the upper (later addition) cavity walls with evidence of bowing to the walls which do not appear to have suitable cavity ties present.”

The proposal is the fourth phase of the masterplan for the Cliff Oaks site and, as previously reported, is seen as integral to the viable refurbishment of the listed buildings on the site.

The four houses had been scaled back from the six originally proposed in that part of the development. The plans can be viewed in full here.

The developer is free to submit new proposals for the Cliff Cottage site.

Phase three of the overall development, which is called Cliff Oaks, began in February this year with the transformation of the mansion’s derelict stables into four three-bedroom houses.

When completed, it’s hoped Cliff Oaks will comprise 25 homes in total.

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