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Wortley: Plans to demolish historic Cliff Cottage refused by council planners

By John Baron

Plans to demolish ‘unsafe’ Cliff Cottage and build three new homes as part of a new £8m gated community in Wortley have been rejected by council planners.

The plans, submitted last November, would see the demolition of the run-down Cliff Cottage which structural engineers have said is in a “dreadful state of repair”.

Priestley Homes has been developing the wider Cliff House mansion site, in Fawcett Lane, into flats and houses for several years and had hoped to build a pair of semi-detached three-bedroom homes over three storeys at the cottage site. There would also have been a three-bedroom detached two-storey home next to them.

But council planners said the latest proposals would have a detrimental impact on the neighbouring Grade II Listed Cliff House and ‘fails to respond to the special historic character of the surviving cottage and the wider setting’.

“Furthermore the development proposes substandard accommodation of a limited gross internal area with substandard bedroom sizes, insufficient outlook and insufficient external amenity space,” the report adds. “The proposals also fail to demonstrate a biodiversity net gain along with insufficient information on how the development will mitigate carbon emissions and address Leeds Climate Emergency considerations.”

The plans were scaled back from the original proposals submitted last year for four terrace homes.

In submitting revised proposals, a developer’s planning statement accompanying the application argued: “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.”

There had been one letter of objection received from Cllr David Blackburn (Green, Farnley & Wortley).

The plans can be viewed in full here. WLD reported last September that a previous application to build houses at the Cliff Cottage had been withdrawn by developers.

Last month Leeds council planners told Priestley Homes they had used wrong type of roofing slate while building new homes on a different part of the Cliff Oaks development. Planners also refused that retrospective planning application.

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