NOTES OF MEETING HELD ON THURSDAY 8TH MAY IN THE ADEL MEMORIAL HALL, CHURCH LANE, ADEL
PLANNING APPLICATIONS PAS SITE – CHURCH LANE
14/01660/OT – LAND OFF OTLEY ROAD and
14/1874/OT – LAND OFF CHURCH LANE
Meeting Chaired by Cllr. Barry Anderson
In attendance: Peter Beck (Children’s Services, Leeds City Council), Carol Cunningham (Planner, Leeds City Council), Andrew Thickett (Highways Planner, Leeds City Council), Andrew Graham (Design & Heritage officer, Leeds City Council), Optimum Highways Consultant for DWH, Jonathan Arblaster (DWH), Mark Johnson (from Johnson Brook, Agent for both Hallam Land and DWH)
Cllr. Barry Anderson opened the meeting by summarising the reasons for having the meeting and points residents might like to think about when making their objections. He also introduced the attendees listed above. He then asked Ian Bond, co-Chair of the Adel Neighbourhood Forum.(ANF) to address the audience. Ian explained what the Neighbourhood Plan was and how it would help with future planning in Adel. Following Ian, Nick Brown, co-Chair of the ANF gave a summary of where the Forum are in the cycle of putting the plan together and what work is still to be done.
Cllr. Anderson invited Greg Mulholland MP to say a few words. Greg explained that he had put forward a 10-minute Rule Bill in Parliament to amend the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and abolish the role of the Planning Inspector. He is also adding his weight to the residents’ objections to these two applications.
The meeting was opened up for questions. The first comment made was in relation to the English Heritage objection to both applications and which has been well received by residents.
Q. Is heritage as important to the developers as it is to us? The current Centurion Fields site is too high density.
Mark Johnson (MJ) said Centurion Fields has a lot less houses on it than the Inspector allowed, 46 as opposed to 68. The two new applications are not high in density, they are low density. We do care about heritage, we have taken the views of 3 separate heritage consultants. These applications are only outline. Our consultants have taken the view that the red line boundary on the plan is important. They are looking at the English Heritage response very carefully. English Heritage are statutory consultees and we don’t treat them lightly.
The Inspector did not say we couldn’t have development in those fields. He said there should be no development beyond the stream and English Heritage have only said that we should follow the Inspector.
Carol Cunningham (CC) confirmed that within the criteria of the NPPF these two applications are of lower density than what was shown in the site allocations.
Q. Why is there access all the way through the site from Otley Road through to Church Lane. How will this protect the safety of any children?
The Highways Consultant responded that HallamLand own the northern parcel of land and the access would be on to Otley Road opposite Kingsley Drive. The southern parcel of land would be on to Church Lane, if these were being built in isolation. Built together the route to take to get through the site from Otley Road to Church Lane is very circuitous and should resolve any safety fears residents may have.
Q. A number of highways questions then followed relating to when the recent traffic surveys were done, where they had been done and the results of the counts.
The Highways Consultant responded to all the points made, as follows:
Our traffic survey counts were done at normal times. The origin destinations have been looked at including a route along Otley Road to turn left into Church Lane and right into Adel lane. Journey times to get through the site would be twice as long to get to Adel Lane if turning off Otley Road and going through the proposed site. The 85th percentile is showing no speeding problems. We had already looked at this for Phase 1.
Q. Has the traffic survey taken into account the developments already planned for Adel Lane at Bodington and Lawnswood Government Buildings plus the one at Bramhope?
The Highways Consultant responded that they have used Department for Transport guidelines when planning the surveys. They have also put down rumble strips to test speeds and volumes. The captured flow is 800 cars at peak times i.e. 800 one way in the morning and 800 the opposite way in the evening.
Cllr. Anderson asked them to be realistic in what they were saying about the number of expected journeys from traffic associated with these two PAS sites if developed. There will be a lot more than they are anticipating and putting in their planning assumptions.
The consultant responded to say they had actually added more cars in and put in a high trip rate to reflect the high amount of car ownership in this area. They said they have also factored in car journeys from Bodington and the Government Buildings site. From the counts done the peak times are showing as 7.30am to 8.30am.
Leeds City Council has asked for the figures to be remodelled to take into account the proposed Bramhope development.
Q. Why do you need to connect the two sites with internal roads?
A. The Highways consultant said that national guidance asks them to seek to find more than one access to a site, for emergency vehicles etc.
The meeting then moved on to questions about Education.
Q. The developers required contribution for education purposes will not meet the need for a new school in the area. Do you feel that the contribution developers are asked to make is sufficient?
A. Peter Beck (PB) responded – No, but the Government tops up this amount and Leeds will receive £20m in Government funding plus the developer contributions.
The schools in all areas have for the moment agreed to increase their numbers above what they normally would take to help us get over the current shortage of places. I am on the team that is looking across the whole city at school places and predicated pupil numbers. We are about to hold an event in Adel as part of the work and this will include all stakeholders in the area being invited. We need buy-in from the local community and we do take the point that schools cause a lot of highways issues.
Birth rates over the last few years will cause a peak in about 2 years time but then the rate of school places required will drop.
There were then a number of comments on where residents would have to live to get their children into local schools.
Greg Mulholland MP said he had been contacted by the Head Teachers of the Otley Family of Schools locally (this included one in Adel) as they have concerns about school places. He said to the planners from the Council that this application must be rejected until there are school places available for those people who need them.
Concern was raised that the shelter belt of trees between Centurion Fields and the PAS site has not yet been planted despite promises from DWH that it would be and in fact should have been planted a long time ago. Jonathan Arblaster (JA) from DWH could not answer as he did not know why.
A resident from Centurion Fields said that the sales office were telling residents that it would not be put in until the planning permission for the development of the next two fields was in place. JA said that this was not true.
Andrew Thickett (AT) was asked for his views on the highways issues. He stated that they had not yet put the Council’s comments together. He needs to address the issues in light of the fact that the Council has been asked to build 70k houses. They need to take account of all the points raised at this meeting and said that they do have the same concerns as the residents.
Cllr. Barry Anderson summarised the meeting and asked everyone present to find 10 other people to raise an objection. Up to the date of the meeting not many objections had been lodged with the Council. He then asked Ian Bond to come forward in relation to the Neighbourhood Forum’s next steps in terms of raising funds.
Ian explained that the Forum had commissioned David Pearson to do a highways assessment, they had also commissioned an experienced heritage expert from York. They have spent £4k to do this. A fighting fund can now be set up as a bank account is now open so donations can be made. If the developers have to go to appeal on these two sites we will need money to hire a barrister to help fight this.
Arrangements were agreed in terms of donations – if anyone wants to give a donation they should email Cllr. Barry Anderson but PLEASE DO NOT say how much you want to give. Cllr. Anderson will then forward names of those who do wish to make a donation to the Treasurer of the Forum who will then be in contact with them.