Redrow Plans Turned Down in Outwood Lane, Horsforth

Plans by Redrow to build 34 houses off Outwood Lane, Horsforth, have been turned down by Leeds City Council.  Although it was acknowledged that the plans would help the City’s housing land supply in a small way,  the negative effects of building on the green belt linked to the Cragg Hill and Woodside conservation area, outweighed any positives.  There is nothing, of course, stopping Redrow appealing against this decision, and having costs awarded from Leeds rate payers if an Inspector overturns this decision.

The negative effects of the development were deemed to be:

  • The conservations areas would be harmed by the loss of a green link between mature woodland that gave the area its rural and informal character.  There was nothing in the plans that mitigated this by preserving or enhancing the conservation areas.
  • As the link between woodland, scrubland and grassland in a Leeds Nature Area, the green belt area was ecologically the most valuable part of the whole site.   Nothing in the plans mitigated for its loss.
  • The proposed development would have a detrimental impact on mature trees in the area, that helped give the conservation area its rural character.   Tree loss would also affect the visual amenities of the site.
  • The site is designated greenspace (an area used for formal or informal recreation), and adequate compensating provision of alternative greenspace had not been made in plans.
  • The free flow of traffic on Outwood Lane would be adversely affected by the site access.
  • The plans had inadequate provision for parking,  unacceptable site road plans, and no pedestrian provision.
  • The scale, style and layout of the development paid no heed to the local area !! (Bearing in mind the local area has conservation status as well.)

The charge is frequently levied at the volume developers, such as Redrow, that they have no interest in place-making, and enhancing both the wellbeing of local residents, and their own customers.   The reasons for turning down the Outwood Lane plan seem to show this accusation may be accurate.   This is not however, the case with many small local developers, who often live, work and know an area – yet they are the ones who find obtaining cost-effective planning permission for small scale development difficult.

2 thoughts on “Redrow Plans Turned Down in Outwood Lane, Horsforth

  1. Great news. My understanding is that Redrow can appeal up to 10 February 2013. The Refusal report is quite comprehensive with many areas showing why the plans have been refused. What happens next? If Redrow appeal I assume we continue our campaign to fight the appeal. If they do not or if they lose the appeal does that mean that any future development plans will fail? Readers comments would be welcome.

  2. Reply from Martin Hughes
    Yes, Redrow can appeal the decision.

    We do ask, if is it entirely fair that the planning system allows a developer unlimited consultation time with the council planners and the community; then, following the placement of the planning application the community gets just 21 days for comment; if the developer loses, the developer gets 6 months to appeal !!

    The imbalance that exists in the planning system is staggering!

    What happens next is that the community waits……….

    If there is an appeal the community has little to input, except to try to ensure that the LCC planning case is set out as best as possible – and that includes the statement of common ground that will be prepared between the two parties. What the planners will be doing is preparing the defence based on the refusal points that have already been published. Although an inspector may listen to other arguments, it is these points only on which the refusal was made, and so these are the refusal points that the inspector must consider in the appeal.

    New input from the community is of low value, I think, UNLESS the input is from different people – i.e. those who have not spoken up before. I think there were some 250 objections to the original plans. If those were to grow to 500 (that is 250 NEW objectors) then that would be a significant point that the inspector would have to consider.

    If the appeal is lost then the developer is free to go through the whole process again and submit a new planning application. It would have to be significantly more sustainable than the existing one to stand any chance of going through. This routine can continue ad infinitum.

    Another fine example of the chronic imbalance .

    Remember, planning law is geared to “growth through sustainable development”. In the end it remains the responsibility of one person from Bristol Inspectorate, who will not know the area, does not live here, and will come here for a week to learn all about us, to decide what is and is not sustainable!

    This makes local planning via the Neighbourhood Plans crucial. What those plans are going to have to say is “no, we have not agreed to development on your site, but we have agreed to developing this site. Come back when you are ready to build here”.

    I hope my comments are of help.

Comments are closed.