Updated: Aug 19, 2022
UPDATE 17/6/22 Following additional feedback from other residents at West Point and additional comments from those at Whitehall Waterfront, we have altered our comments to try and mitigate concerns on both Whitehall Waterfront and West Point from the proposed developments.
We appreciate some residents feel very strong against any development and therefore even with alterations to the plans - they will not be welcomed by many. Indeed, we feel the use of the site as green open space would be better for the area but in making our comments we feel it is important to be upfront with residents that the principle of development of these sites has already be approved in planning terms and was deemed as such when the government appointed inspector held a public inquiry into what is known as the Leeds Site Allocation Plan and this site, EO1-31, was allocated as office development.
Although a move to a mixed-use development is generally seen as more sustainable in planning terms, we also strong believe the plans for the development should limit the amount of harm caused to the two existing local residential sites nearby.
Our feedback on the applications will focus on material considerations – this does not mean the other concerns raised by residents and owners are not totally understandable, but they are not material considerations in the planning process and thus would not carry weight when determining the final planning decision.
Parking Capacity: The development must meet the minimum policy on this provision as this level will already be inadequate to meet demand as is. This would be further supported by a reduction of the density of the developments because of our view of the need to reduce the number of floors on several plots to limit the harm of light loss and the footprint of the plot to limit the harm to the waterfront as both outlined below.
Light Loss: The proposed development will have a significant impact on accessible light to the Whitehall Waterfront due to its proposed height and orientation. This will have a significant impact on many dwellings in a harmful manner in our view.
We considered the reorienting of the overall development to have taller buildings moved away from Whitehall Waterfront and thus keep the overall density of the development, but this would have an impact on West Point dwellings as a result.
We have therefore concluded that to reduce the harm to as many as possible, the heights of Plot 5, 6, 7 and 9 should be reduced to reduce the over shadowing and light loss to the adjacent residential buildings.
Privacy Loss: The proposed developments will have an impact on the privacy of many dwellings at Whitehall Waterfront and West Point. Although this is a city centre location and was always going to be an issue when the site was developed, reasonable steps should be taken to reduce any unreasonable overlooking, including the location of windows and the glazing style of those windows which may be within reasonable sight range of overlooked residential properties.
Flood Risk: Many buildings in the area have basement flooding issues and we feel any flood risk management plan needs to be extremely robust to prevent the same happening to new residents.
River Sightline Impact: The current positions of some of the proposed development(s) will have, in our view, a negative impact on the waterfront. We have considered stepping back the development to the roadside of the site to retain the site density, but this would have an impact on West Point residents.
Reflecting on this, we believe the overall footprint of the individual plots should be reduced on the waterfront side to ensure a clear slight line without causing harm elsewhere. This would also have the benefits of reducing overall density and this demand for parking.
Plot 9 and Whitehall Waterfront: We believe the space between the proposed site and current residential site should be increased and therefore the footprint of the plot should be reduced as a minimum, if now removed totally. We also believe the current proposed location of waste and services access is unreasonable should the plot be developed and should be moved out of sight of dwellings.
We will communicate these updated comments to the planning department.
Again, we do appricate that some residents and/or owners are opposed to development at this site completely.
UPDATE 16/6/22 Following some additional feedback from West Point residents, I've just read the West Point objections fully and also looked at the sight lines from that end of the proposed development.
There is some material planning merit regarding light loss and the wind issues at this side of the development of building heights are moved around the plots. The concerns about traffic, parking and privacy are valid but the difficulty for West Point residents, as it is with White Hall Waterfront residents, is that site was always planned for development at a reasonable density (indeed it could fit more) and so from a planning perspective - these losses to nearby dwellings were built into the site allocations plan.
My initial take on this would be trying to limit the overall height of the development to no higher then that of either Whitehall Waterfront or West Point, but in itself, these are higher then the surrounding buildings in general and would have a limited impact, if positive, on some of the issues raised.
On whether this should be closer to the road or river - I'm really torn. The curtilage line on the road side already creates a narrow vista and thus would not be out of keeping, bar for the large amount of open sight line currently afforded by the lack of development on the site in question. Keeping the builds is rough location would have a small positive impact on West Point but could then be harmful to the waterfront vista.
Taking all this and being mindful that the principle of development has been agreed at density and what is and isn't a material planning concerns, if I were to alter the objection, it would be to suggest Plot 6, 7 and maybe 5 are lowered in height, and Plot 6 and 9 have obstructive glazing towards Whitehall Waterfront. I'm still 50/50 on whether it should be closer to the road or not. -
-- ORIGINAL POST
Several property owners and tenants have contacted us regarding the above planning applications, and we have now had time to consider these and form a response.
In doing so, we feel it is important to note that the principle of development of these sites is acceptable and was deemed as such when the government appointed inspector held a public inquiry into what is known as the Leeds Site Allocation Plan.
However, the development should be appropriate and residents from Whitehall Waterfront have raised several concerns. Some of these are, in our view, material planning considerations that need to be addressed to make any planning application acceptable.
Our feedback on the applications will therefore focus on these material considerations – this does not mean the other concerns raised by residents and owners are not totally understandable, but they are not material considerations in the planning process.
Light Loss: The proposed development will have a significant impact on accessible light to the Whitehall Waterfront due to its proposed height and orientation. This will have a
significant impact on many dwellings in a harmful manner in our view. This could be addressed by reorienting the development and having taller buildings away from Whitehall Waterfront and stepping back from their proposed location toward the road rather than river.
Privacy Loss: The proposed development will have an impact on the privacy of many dwellings at Whitehall Waterfront. Although this is a City Centre location, design steps should be taken to reduce any unreasonable overlooking, including the location of windows and the glazing style.
Parking Capacity: The development must meet the minimum policy on this provision. This level will already be inadequate to meet demand, but anything less will compound the issue.
Flood Risk: Many buildings in the area have basement flooding and we feel any flood risk management plan needs to be extremely robust to prevent the same happening to new residents.
Waterfront Impact: The current positions of some of the proposed development(s) will have, in your view, a determinantal impact of the waterfront and should be stepped back to ensure a clean and pleasing sightline.
We will communicate these concerns to the planning department.
If you have objections or other comments, please ensure you log them at https://publicaccess.leeds.gov.uk/online-applications/ and search for the applications using their reference numbers.