Headingley Green Party

3 June 2015

How to object to the Elinor Lupton Centre and Why

1. How to object – quick guide

The quickest and easiest way to object is to email planning@leeds.gov.uk with the subject of: “Objection to application number 15/01919/FU and 15/02490/LI regarding the Elinor Lupton Centre”.

It is important that you refer to legitimate planning grounds if your comments are to be counted by the plans panel. The bullet points below give you an idea of relevant points that you may wish to make in your objection. Please note that this is currently NOT a licensing application so any points about provision of alcohol must be related to the planning issues. In the following, the words in bold are particularly relevant to planning law, so they are good words to use!

•           This location is entirely the wrong place for a huge pub. It is not in a town centre location and is close to many residential streets as well as being a very busy main road.

•           The servicing of this enormous development will result in many access problems for local residents as large deliveries and the cars of customers will cause further congestion in an area already swamped with traffic.

•           The loss of amenity for local residents caused by the increase in footfall and nuisance (after drinking) and the increase in traffic as well as noise produced by those using the outside drinking areas, make this an unsuitable development for this context. These issues are exacerbated by the opening hours and the overall size of the development.

PLEASE consider objecting along these lines (or others of your own choosing). The number of objections is very important, so don’t worry if yours is short. Ideally, you should use your own language, rather than copying the exact phrasing from other sources. If you wish to make a longer objection, please see more information below. Do make sure that you include your name and address as well as the reference to the two planning application numbers, which are: 15/02490/LI and 15/02489/FU. More ways to object are outlined in a further section, below.

Why it's important to object

Although it appears at first that this development could be good for the area, given that the centre has been vacant for such a long period, it’s clear that a huge pub is not an appropriate use for the site. Moreover, other options for the site have been seriously considered: both City Varieties and the Lady Bird Project also tried to purchase the premises to bring it back into use, but were simply outbid by Wetherspoons.

http://www.theladybirdproject.co.uk/

https://www.cityvarieties.co.uk/

The main reason this is not a suitable development is to do with the type of drinking establishment Wetherspoons are trying to open. With the capacity of the pub set to be 1,000, this is going to be an enormous pub, rather than a quiet family pub. The plans also include large outdoor seating areas, which will mean an immediate impact on the neighbourhood in terms of noise pollution. This will affect residents not only in the summer months, but throughout the year as people use these outdoor areas for smoking. This is bad news for all residents nearby, but will particularly affect the many families with young children in the area.

 

Furthermore, the planning application includes plans for a container bar, most usually found in nightclubs, which will be used for selling bottles and shots. It is a safe to conclude from this, and from the fact that there is a request in the plans for the premises to have a license until 1.30am on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, that the aim of the pub is to attract groups on the Otley run and weekend revellers who would more usually be found in the town centre.

In Headingley, local residents currently struggle with the amount of drinkers the numerous pubs attract. Although the vast majority of people who frequent the pubs in the area are not problematic, there is a concentrated minority who cause problems for local people with noise, litter, and aggressive and violent behaviour. With this Wetherspoons development being such a large pub which is specifically aimed at attracting binge drinkers, it’s clear that these issues will increase.

How to object – further information

If you wish to see the plans, they can be found at the following link (please note there are TWO applications) and then searching for Elinor Lupton: https://publicaccess.leeds.gov.uk/online-applications/search.do?action=simple&searchType=Application

As well as emailing, you may comment online by clicking through to the individual applications and then clicking on the icon which says ‘Make a Public Comment’. You may comment on one application and refer to the other, so that you do not have to repeat your comments. You can also write to Planning Services: Leonardo Building, 2 Rossington Street, Leeds LS2 8HD, quoting the application number(s). Again, make sure that you include your name and address as well as the reference to the two planning application numbers, which are: 15/02490/LI and 15/02489/FU.

Objecting now is important, and if we do this right we can protect our community from this potential harm.

 

As well as objecting on the grounds outlined above, if you wish to make a longer objection, you can refer to the plans (link above) and quote figures given by the applicants (e.g. the numbers of drinkers/cars expected). You may also refer to the Leeds Core Strategy policies P8 (town centre) and P4 (change in use classes on parades). Although this is not currently a licensing application, it is also worth remembering (and mentioning!) that these premises are within the area of the local CIP (Cumulative Impact Policy) which designates places where there is already over-provision of alcohol outlets (as well as fast food outlets in this case).

 

Furthermore, the planning application for the establishment is full of inconsistencies with local and national planning policy, something you could also point out in your objection. Many thanks to Dr. Richard Tyler for working so how to expose these and share them with us as listed below:

1 As Leeds City Council's notice of application states, the application is for a major development which does not accord with the provisions of the Adopted Development Plan. The proposal is contrary to Leeds Core Strategy Policy P8, which requires that in sequential terms, a development like a public house, which is a Main Town Centre Use, should be located in town centres first, before looking at sites outside defined town centres. In this respect, local policy follows the National Planning Policy Framework, paragraph 24. The Elinor Lupton Centre is well outside Headingley Town Centre.

 

2 The applicant states that the proposal replaces the loss of pubs nationally. But the ‘local’ closures cited in their Planning Statement 6.12 are not in Headingley. To the contrary, there is over-supply of pubs in the area, as shown by Leeds Licensing Policy. The site is within Area 2, Headingley & Hyde Park, of the Cumulative Impact Policy, which states, "It is the council’s policy, on receipt of relevant representations, to refuse new and variation applications in Area 2 ... It is for the applicant to demonstrate that their application would not add to the cumulative impact of such licensed premises in the area."

 

3 The applicant states that they will be offering a ‘traditional pub.’ But they are unlikely to achieve this, given that the locality is dominated by the student population (two-thirds of Headingley Ward). And the plans for the pub respond to this demand - its capacity is planned to be 1,000; the applicant’s own Transport Statement states, “the proposed building would generate around 1,600 two-way person trips per day on a weekday and around 3,100 person trips per day on a Saturday (by all modes of transport)” (2.2.2); and the application includes a ‘container bar to rear outdoor area.’ As such, the proposed pub is contrary to Core Strategy Policy P4: supporting text to the Policy states, “Whilst A4 [pubs] and A5 [take-aways] uses can be appropriate uses for parades of shops, their cumulative impact give rise to amenity concerns for nearby residents, including noise, disturbance, litter and car parking, which can occur when a number of such uses are located in close proximity to each other. In addition to this, health issues are now a material planning consideration” (paragraph 5.3.19).

 

4 The applicant’s Noise Impact Assessment states, “Providing the engineering and administrative noise controls described in this report are properly implemented, the noise impact of this proposed development is sufficiently low to ensure acceptable noise conditions for nearby residents” (p10). But the Assessment does not take into account a number of factors. It is concerned only with noise emanating directly from the premises. It does not take into account the high walls of the building, which will reflect noise. The elevation of the building means noise will travel far over surrounding homes. Noise will ricochet around neighbouring streets. And the Assessment assumes that peak trading “would occur on only a few occasions per year, likely to be during the daytime or early part of the evening.’ This estimate is wildly optimistic: as a student pub, peak trading is likely to take place on most week-day evenings during the summer, and pretty well all day and night at weekends; it will be encouraged by the presence of the container bar in the beer garden at the rear; and given that opening hours are proposed as 7am until half-past midnight, Sunday to Wednesday, and 7am to 1.30am, Thursday to Saturday (Planning Statement, Appendix 1), then neighbours can look forward to ‘serious annoyance’ throughout the early hours every night of the week in summer.

 

5 The applicant’s Transport Statement says, “The proposed building would generate around 1,600 two-way person trips per day on a weekday and around 3,100 person trips per day on a Saturday (by all modes of transport)” (2.2.2). This indicates the number of people arriving - and more significantly - leaving, during a week. 15% of these will be by car: these cars departing (in the early hours) will cause considerable noise from raised voices and doors slamming. However, the majority of arrivals/departures will be on foot, some 70%. This means over a thousand every day during the week, and more than twice this number at weekends. These patrons will be passing through neighbouring streets on arrival - and then returning through these same streets, after a night’s drinking, during the early hours.

 

6 The Transport Statement also reveals traffic disruption to local residents. Some 240 cars will be parking in neighbouring streets during the week, and c480 at the weekend. And “around 14 Heavy Goods Vehicles would typically require access to the site each week, spread throughout the daytime hours” (3.7).



(This article was amended on 8th June to give clearer detail on how to object).







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