HOLT PARK REGENERATION PROGRAMME AND EXTRA CARE HOUSING

Cllr. Caroline Anderson and I attended a briefing today on the Holt Park Regeneration scheme. Set out below is a copy of a briefing that was sent to us in advance of the meeting. However, in terms of the meeting itself, please find a precis of the information and the discussion that took place:

PRECIS

The Regeneration Team advised that the area on the Plan below shown as Site B will be in the first phase of the regeneration. This is an Extra Care Facility that I have advised residents of in previous emails and articles that I have sent. We support the Extra Care Facility in principle but we have concerns about the highways issues during construction and what benefits there will be arising from the development for local residents as it attracts no Community Infrastructure Levy money or S106 money to be spent locally.

For specific plans please email me at barry.anderson@leeds.gov.uk and I will send them to you.

The Sites that were the old school site and the current High Farm car park site respectively are housing sites in the Site Allocations Plan. These sites were due to be delivered as part of the Council housing programme but due to pressure on budgets the Council are now looking to secure capital receipts on this land but to retain it for social housing use.

The site that is in front of what was the Asda shopo units is the developable Public Open Space in the centre. This space is totally landlocked by Asda, Holt Park Active Centre and the Extra Care facility so that space needs to be developed first. However, this is only partly funded at the moment and the Council need to find ways of funding it. Asda have an obligation to carry out some improvements to the area of land where the former shop units and the walkway were. However, we are advised Asda haven’t come forward with their proposals yet as to whether they are going to do the work “in kind” or give money to the Council to green-up that area.

Costs to develop the Public Open Space site  need to be examined to look at whether a high maintenance or low maintenance scheme would be more beneficial overall and what costs are included in the scheme price.

Unfortunately the land next to the High Farm which is another developable plot is also constrained for building on due to trees, the bus terminus and car parking.

You may be aware from correspondence earlier this week or from social media, about the 1800 trees to be planted further down near the tennis courts and bowling green area by Heathfield Walk which we brought to officers’ attention during this briefing as they did not appear to be aware that Parks & Countryside had this proposal.

We made a suggestion that the Public Open Space land could be gifted to the community, on say a 999-year lease, and they (a Community Group) could apply for grant funding to major bodies to develop it. In this way, the community would ensure the land is kept maintained and the residents at both Farrar Lane sheltered housing and the new Extra Care housing might like to get involved as well.

Moving on to the Planning Application – we were shown the latest plans and a full planning application will be submitted and will be dealt with by a Plans Panel. We will ensure that you are made aware when the full planning application is submitted so you can make any views and comments known to the Planning Department in the usual way before the Plans Panel make their final decision. If you would like to see the outline of what might be getting brought forward let me know but this file is 8MB in size and it is an early draft, not the final proposals and these may change.
Email barry.anderson@leeds.gov.uk

Unfortunately some trees are to be removed at the southern side. They also had to design the scheme having regard to the High Farm which is a listed building.

We are very concerned about the decision to have the construction traffic all accessing the site using Farrar Lane from Otley Road for the following reasons which are based on experience of other construction sites locally:

  • Speed of the construction vehicles. Particularly as the road is very straight and invites greater speeds
  • Mud on the roads
  • The number of junctions that come out on to Farrar Lane from both sides of Farrar Lane – Whinfield, Broomfield, Heathfield, The Drive and Raynel Drive
  • Limited traffic calming on Farrar Lane and current residents’ views about the current level of speeding on Farrar Lane and its offshoots
  • Empty lorries coming back from the site will go faster and make more noise
  • Schools in the very close vicinity in terms of pedestrian movements and those children who are using scooters or cycling to school
  • Pedestrians accessing the Asda complex
  • The number of families in the area
  • The varying age groups living and thriving in the community

We also feel the Council need to clearly set out to the local community the benefits that will accrue in the local community as there will be no, or limited, infrastructure improvements as a result of this development.

Finally, there was also discussion about how the development can be environmentally-friendly and have a positive effect on the Council’s declaration of a Climate Change Emergency.

We have raised all of these issues very vehemently today.

In respect of allocation of places in the Extra Care Housing we have asked the officer how these will be allocated so that we can be reassured that local residents will have the chance to secure one of these units. They have said they will come back with further information on this.
We are advised the Extra Care Housing complex will take about 1 year to complete. The briefing is below. If you would like the full briefing with illustrations please email me at barry.anderson@leeds.gov.uk

Background

The Holt Park District Centre is a long standing mixed use regeneration priority which has focused on the redevelopment of Ralph Thoresby secondary school and Holt Park Leisure Centre, both delivered as part of PFI contracts.

Asda is in the process of reconfiguring their store to create extra capacity, which requires the sale of some LCC land to Asda.

Sites to the south of the Asda store and to the east and South of the leisure Centre have been allocated for housing within the local plan. These sites are Council owned and are part of the capital receipts programme.

The Planning Statement for Holt Park District Centre (December 2014) outlines the vision for area and identifies public open space as a key focal point that links all adjoining development together.

Initial public open spaces concept sketches were also included in the Planning Statement.

Development parcels & programming

The need for older people’s accommodation has been identified in the area and Adults Services are leading on a £12m scheme to deliver 60 Extra Care housing apartments with communal facilities that are open to the public. This is being delivered through a consortium made up of Morgan Sindall Later Living and Home Group. This scheme is to be delivered on site B as shown on the plan below.

The scheme will deliver 100% affordable rental units which is above Affordable Housing Planning Policy requirements of 35% for the Adel and Wharfedale ward, and the Council will have nomination rights on 100% of these units for the first lettings, and 75% nomination rights on subsequent lettings. Moreover, the scheme is anticipated to generate c£780,000 per annum as revenue efficiency savings for the Council.

Sites A and C shown on the plan above are allocated housing sites within the SAP and are included on the Council’s list of capital receipts sites which supports the Council’s budget position.

It is proposed that sites A and C are disposed of to secure a capital receipt to the Council. It should be noted that the development potential for site C is limited due to mature trees on site, the need to retain parking for existing uses and a nearby Listed Building. It is anticipated that site A could accommodate 28 dwellings and site C 16 dwellings based on the SAP.

The Council intends initially to ring-fence the disposal of these sites to Registered Providers (RPs) with the aim of securing affordable housing, while still delivering of the capital receipt expectations for the Council. There may be opportunity for the Council to acquire homes from the RP to support the new build programme, which will be considered as part of the disposal process.

Site D has been identified as public open space (as identified in the Holt Park District Centre Planning Statement) to support the delivery of comprehensive redevelopment of the area and contribute to good quality place making and sustainability objectives.

As site D is in the centre of the site and is ‘land locked’ by existing uses to the North, West and East, sequentially this site needs to be developed first, prior to sites A,B and C coming forward.

The Extra Care scheme at site B is due to commence on site in early 2021 (subject to planning) and completed by mid-2022. The works to the public open space can be built into the contract for extra care and delivered alongside the scheme. This would be programmed in for early in the build process.

The redevelopment of sites A and C will follow the Extra Care scheme post 2022.

Public Open Space Funding

 

As the Extra Care scheme falls within the planning category of C2 Care Facilities it is exempt from financial contributions with regard to Greenspace as well as other s106 contributions.

 

An initial design and cost estimate for the public open space has been calculated at £300,000 plus 20% contingency (£360,000). A maintenance cost of £100,000 (for 10 years maintenance prior to adoption) has also been identified by Parks & Countryside. The total scheme costs for the open space is therefore c£460,000.

 

The initial open space design has been developed in consultation with Parks & Countryside

Ward Members have previously identified the project as a priority for the Local Centres Programme (LCP) ward allocation of £150,000. Whilst there has been no policy decision or change to the Executive Board approval for the LCP, as with all capital programme schemes the uncommitted LCP budget has come into consideration as part of the wider Council budget review. Subject to the outcome of the capital programme review officers will be in a position to confirm the continued allocation of funding to this scheme.

Conclusion

 

The public open space at Holt Park District Centre is a crucial part of the regeneration of the wider area which has taken place over the last 10 years. The open space has been designed and can be delivered as part of the Extra Care housing development, commencing on site in 2021. The cost for the open space is c£460,000 (including maintenance).

Delivery of the open space will unlock the sequential development of the three housing sites, which collectively could deliver c100 extra care and affordable homes, completing the regeneration of Holt Park District Centre.

Moreover, the delivery of the Extra Care scheme is projected to save the Council approximately £780,000 per annum as efficiency savings. These revenue savings are significant and may not be realised if the wider redevelopment of the open space cannot be realised and the site unlocked (due to the open space needing to be developed first).

Recommendation

It is recommended that the £150,000 that has been ring fenced in principle from the Local Centres Programme is used towards the costs of this scheme. This has already been agreed in principle by Ward Members.