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Wortley: New housing plans would see demolition of historic Cliff Cottage

Plans to demolish ‘unsafe’ Cliff Cottage and build four contemporary terrace houses as part of a new £8m gated community in Wortley have been re-submitted 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.

WLD reported in September that a previous application to build houses at the Cliff Cottage part of the site had been withdrawn.

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Council planners said the developer needed to address issues including the increase in the size of development, parking, impact upon the tree belt, and concerns over the design which should be conservation led and sensitive to the general importance of the site vision.

In submitting revised proposals, a planning statement accompanying the application concludes: “We believe that these proposals offer significant benefits to the public in removing an existing danger to the public and will provide four suitable family homes in a safe and attractive gated development just three miles from the centre of the city.”

The plans can be viewed in full here.

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.

Phase three of the overall development 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.

Cliff Cottage was likely the house for the staff on the estate and was extended by Leeds City Council in the early to mid 20th Century, likely for teacher accommodation when Cliff House was converted into Newcliffe House School.

Cliff House was the family home of local businessman & councillor Joseph Cliff in 1843 but donated by the Cliff Family to Leeds City Council in 1929 who converted the building to be used as a boys school and remand home in the 1930’s, called Newcliffe House School, which was a Community Special School but ceased use in the 1990’s.

Problems with vandalism and arson attacks seriously damaged Cliff House around 2017.

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