Developer takes plan to build 770 homes to government inspectorate

Coun Jack Dunn and concerned residents, pictured in 2014, when plans to build hundreds of homes at the site were first suggested.
Coun Jack Dunn and concerned residents, pictured in 2014, when plans to build hundreds of homes at the site were first suggested.

A developer proposing to build nearly 800 homes on land due to be safeguarded as green space is taking its case to the government Planning Inspectorate.

The Sir Robert Ogden Partnership submitted a planning application to Leeds City Council in September last year, requesting approval to construct 770 houses and a convenience shop at the former Tingley railway station site off Dunningley Lane.

It has now appealed to the Planning Inspectorate to make a decision on the proposal, claiming the city council failed to give notice of approval or refusal within an appropriate time limit.

Requesting an inquiry be held, the developer’s appeal said: “Despite recent appeal decisions confirming the absence of a five year housing land supply and the suitability of releasing safeguarded land now to bolster supply, the city council have refused to confirm their acceptance that the principle of release of this site is acceptable subject to addressing technical matters.”

The land, off the A653 Dewsbury Road and Thorpe Lane, in Tingley, is designated as safeguarded under a draft Site Allocations Plan by the council, due to be submitted to the Secretary of State for consideration this summer.

The plan identifies which areas across the district will be allocated for housing, employment, retail and green space, until 2028.

Under the proposals, Tingley Station would be safeguarded from development to protect the green space in the immediate future and reserve it for potential long term development.

More than 30 objections have been lodged against the proposed development, which also includes a village green and children’s play area.

Coun Jack Dunn, for Ardsley and Robin Hood, said: “It’s a mammoth development that affects not only Ardsley and Robin Hood but Morley and Middleton too.

“The services, the schools, the medical centres, that are needed to go with it just aren’t there - it’s a new community without amenities.

“The area is also indicated to be protected under the Site Allocations Plan. It’s a beautiful barrier of countryside and a haven for wildlife between the three areas. The developer wants to take that away.

“The Site Allocations Plan is due to be rubber stamped and what it seems like this developer, among others, is trying to do is to get plans approved before that.”

Coun Richard Lewis, the council’s executive member for regeneration, transport and planning, said the applicant accepted “considerable further work” was required to understand the traffic impact of the proposal and that Highways England had issued a holding direction, preventing the council from making a decision on the scheme before March 10.

He said: “We are disappointed that the applicant has decided to follow this course of action. We aim to work with developers, particularly on very detailed applications on sensitive sites in order to make high quality planning decisions.

“This involves understanding from both sides that further information may be required, including from third parties and statutory consultees.

“This application is for development of a greenfield site identified as safeguarded land in our emerging Site Allocations Plan.

“Although the planning rules in place from central government mean that planning permission can be granted on a site like this, we would have to be convinced it is, on balance, a suitable site for new homes, something we are unable to do at the current time.”

Agent ID Planning were contacted for a comment on behalf of the Sir Robert Ogden Partnership.