APPEAL REF: APP/N4720/W/20/3250249
SITE: DEMOLITION OF  EXISTING DWELLINGS AND ERECTION OF 70 DWELLINGS - WORDSWORTH CLOSE & SUGAR HILL CLOSE, OULTON, LEEDS, LS26
The Planning Inspector has confirmed at the preliminary part of Day 1 of this appeal inquiry that no objections have been raised with regards to us ("Judicial Domicide") live tweeting the Planning Inspectorate Appeal Inquiry. We, ("Judicial Domicide") must state that this is not intended to be an official, accurate, nor verbatim transcript, but it is recorded here by us to serve the purpose as a true record of the inquiry hearing(s) as we observed and recorded. We have compiled the below from live tweets and our fast notes taken during the observation of the hearing. There are also areas where we did not observe and/or we had connection issues which resulted in the loss of being able to observe.
This is Day 5 of the Appeal inquiry of Pemberstone v. @SaveOurHomeLS26.
Mrs Readman - (Evidence-In-Chief for @SaveOurHomesLS26)
Mrs Readman: My husband was vice chair and local secretary of rugby club.
Ms Wigley: How well do you know by name?
Mrs Readman: A few up on Sugar Hill Close. A few views? on people you know? Irene aged 83, raise family here and ?
I’ve spoken to her a number of times but yes recently yes she’s 83, she moved here 61 years ago. Her house is full of memories. She made improvements to fireplace. She told me story of her husband who died of cancer. He was sent home and he stayed downstairs and had view of the tree that they had both planted.
They all know each other. Susan who has been on estate 12 years and Hazel who has been there 16 years.
Both are good friends of mine and so yes I do speak regularly to them.
It would be devastating for them as Susan being on her own. Hazel works in Wakefield and has said she may have to give up work if she was moved further away. Can go for walks in the local area they feel secure, they feel safe. They have met so many people and all so friendly.
Ms Wigley: Your house is classified as a red house in classification. You know about that classification. Exp. of how you live in the house and have you noticed any problems with it? Any problems that might indicate structural problems or that it might fall down? How do you feel about living it that house thats classified Red?
Mrs Readman: It was a shock actually. As far as im concerned I'm not a structural engineer but as far as we are concerned there is nothing wrong with this house. There are no cracks in the wall, its not moving, there have been no issues with damp in the house. No issues in the entire time we’ve been leaving here. The only problems we have ever had are with maintenance issues. We’ve had some windows replaced with double glazing. To be quiet honest it was a feat getting that done. We have said before I had to got a Dr’s letter for my sons Asthma and that was the only way we could get double glazing put in. Since the time we got the double glazing put in there is no drafts there’s nothing. It's a lovely house to live in its spacious. but no the whole time we have been here there has been no issues other than general maintenance issues.
Ms Wigley: Dr Buroni evidence at 1.2.2 - in his summary proof which reflects his main proof but for our purposes his summary is sufficient. Reads out the statement - Underlying issue that existing housing inequality that has resulted in disproportionate number of the most vulnerable people in the community living in sub poor standard energy inefficient housing that then compounds the existing burdens of poor health and propogates inequality. Mrs Readman. How much or how little does this chime with you and those others on the estate that you know?
Mrs Readman: Very little to be honest. When I read this report honestly it made me feel sick. As I have said before a lot of people who moved here have moved for different reasons, family problems, financial problems ,but they have moved here and they have been made to feel welcome. Its a community, it a close community and they feel safe here. They haven’t had any issues issues like that. To say they exasperated…The only thing that has exasperated the poor health of people and the anxiety and stress of people here, is the last three years, where they are thinking they might lose their homes that they love. Thats the only thing that has caused any stress and anxiety in the community, as far as I know.
Ms Wigley: Does anyone have a feeling that their housing is less good than the other housing in another area. Or less equal?
Mrs Readman: Not that anyone has ever reported to me.
Mrs Readman: No we only ever had issues with maintenance been main issue with landlord there has been problems with that but that’s nothing to do with type of housing its to do with poor maintenance by the landlord to be perfectly honest.
Ms Wigley: in 1.2.2 going on he says the proposed project is not the cause of such inequality that seeks to address the underlying issue by improving the housing stock quality and adaptability and affordability over what can be achieved by do minimum or a do nothing scenario. How do you feel about what he says there that the redevelopment will basically address underlying issues of inequality? How do you react to that?
Mrs Readman: Maybe its fine for people on regulated tenancies that will be offered a house. It will be absolutely fine for the people who move into the brand spanking new houses and can afford to buy a house for £250,000 pounds. But for the rest of us, well yeah it really will improve our life (sarcastic tone) because we will be out on the street and we will be homeless. I don’t know how that will improve our lives by building new houses that we are not going to be allowed to move into. We will be in temporary accommodation waiting two years for a council house. How is that going to improve our quality of life? I don’t see how that will improve anyones health or life.
Ms Wigley: Sorry I haven’t got reference to hand but I know I’ve read you are a teaching assistant in a local school. You’re also a parent. You’ve explained your children were involved in local rugby club. What is your feeling particularly on current position as teaching assistant in local school as to the effect on the proposed redevelopment of the estate on the health and wellbeing on the children in the local area?
Mrs Readman: I’ve seen effect in one particular child which Mr Teasdale has previously mentioned and it was a child who was in my class at that time. She lives on the estate with her family. She knows that I live here. And she said I might have to move school soon because they are going to pull my house down and we won’t have anywhere to live we will have to move house so ill have to move schools. She’s the type of child that doesn’t make friends easily. Very shy, very insecure and for her to have to do that it would be massive, absolutely massive. I can say that for nearly all the children that live here. You only have to walk round on a nice day, the children are all out playing together. My children used to do it when they were young. They all used to play out on the street or out the fields at the back, we never had any issues with it. We knew that people would look out for them or if anything happened one of the neighbours would come get us. Thats what is happening again with the next generation of children that are here. They all play out together. They absolutely love being here. If they have to move schools and had to move houses they would be separated from all of that. Its a big thing for children moving schools. Got to make new friends, got to fit in in a new place and it’s so hard for them.
Ms Wigley, yeah, thank you very much.
Ms Wigley: I notice Mr Teasdale in appendices. I have seen your face in a few of them. Its only fair to ask you. Appendix 6 - evidence of community action website. Quite a lot of pages in there. Do you have hardcopy page 24 - 70.
Inspector: yes Ms Wigley I do.
Ms Wigley: 24-70 big photo on top half and residents action banner and open house happy homes. Heritage open day. Ms Readman do you have that? Can you explain what that is all about please and how often that’s happened.
Mrs Readman: Its happened for last two years but would have happened this year if hadn’t of been for covid. We were contacted by Leeds Civic Trust, and happened for the last two years and we were open for one day of the weekend and we were visited by many people during the day. Some interested in the mining estate. Some interested in how it was laid out. Some used to live here and come to reminisce. It was a lovely day and its happened for the last two years. We also had a visit from 20th century society. It was quite funny to see two coach loads of people turn up to come round here. They had a good look round, invited into peoples homes and gardens. It was lovely. They had a good look around the homes. Website, I’m involved a little bit but it is mainly run by Hazell and Jesica field. I am involved in it a bit but mainly them. Christmas events, and held social events there. Christmas Party last year: Santa came last year and took presents to all the children. We also have held social events locally and had meetings there.
Ms Wigley: If planning permission was refused. What would you like to happen and what do you think could happen?
Mrs Readman: What we would really like to happen is for Pemberstone to work with us and to refurbish these houses in a way that has been proven by Structherm can be done at much lower price and allow residents to continue to live here. Difficult to think how to say it but if they have an interest. We believe if they did that people would be here for long term and they would make an income out of gathering rents long term from the estate. Structherm suggest more than 30 years of income. Them homes with no one in them for 8-9 months have not been re-let and they would likely have problems now as they have been empty for so long . But if they didn’t want to let them maybe they could sell them to a housing association or something else. In ideal situation we would like Leeds City Council or housing association to take this estate on. But from what has been said in this inquiry we don’t know if that’s been offered to them or if they have said yes or no. We have been kept in the dark about that and we have asked on numerous occasions which housing associations was it. Have you offered it to Leeds City Council and to then hear evidence only last week that it had been offered to Leeds City Council and that they said no. That was quite a shock to us. As far as we knew it hadn’t been offered to them. Thats what we would like. We want to stay here. We want to work with Pemberstone so we can stay here. We’ve not been able to speak with them they have not engaged with the community at all in any of this and that’s what we would really like to happen.
Ms Wigley: I know its quite hard for you but Mrs Readman can you summarise the effect to you if the appeal goes ahead.
Mrs Readman: I’ve spoken to number of people about this again this weekend as I knew I was coming on today to give evidence. Every single person has said that they would be devastated. I’m sorry im getting emotional but it is an emotional thing (holding back tears) The stress and anxiety of the last 3 years (voice tremors notably) has just been awful. It is with you every single day. You go about your normal business but it’s just there all the time. If this happens I really don’t know what would happen to a lot of people on this estate. Even the ones that are guaranteed a house. Mavis and Barry up the street, they are elderly, they don’t want to move. They have got hobbies they wouldn’t be able to do if they move as it would be a much smaller house. Mavis does a lot of sewing and a lot of craft work she wouldn’t have any spare room to do that. Barry does a lot of work in the shed in his garden, he wouldn’t have that shed and wouldn’t be able to do that. She told me it would probably end them and take their ultimate toll on them. Robert has lived here his entire life. He lost his mum a couple of years ago and his dad has just gone into a care home as he has dementia. Robert has suffered with Mental illness and actually put on our facebook page that if he had to move he would probably commit suicide. See somebody write that....(pause).. its just horrible. (Upset) Something Hazell put on our website yesterday is that it will break our heart and it will break our souls if you take our homes away from us because they mean everything to us, they really do.
Ms Wigley: Thank you Mrs Readman I know its been hard for you but you have been really clear.
Inspector: Thank you Ms Wigley. Mr White I know what you said last week but I just want to check and give you opportunity whether you have any questions you wish to put to Mrs Readman?
Mr White: No sir, I will ask Mr Lynch, thank you very much.
Inspector: I would like to check a few points with you please. The constitution of the residents action group.
Who is able to belong to the action group.
Mrs Readman: It involves anybody in the area to be honest. Because we had to have a constitution the roles of chair and vice chair etc are on there. But everyone can be a part of it. Newsletters are sent out regularly. Facebook group, the community group is also used for general things like bin day, or if we need to help each other. It's a way of helping each other if we need anything. Everyone is involved in it.
Inspector: Page 3 right at top at Paragraph 9. You say Oulton Drive in new estate can be part of the action group?
Mrs Readman: There are few on our facebook group. If they wanted to they would be included in the facebook group if they wanted to be. Yeah.
Inspector: from that the action group isn’t just exclusive to people on Sugar Hill Close or Wordsworth Drive.
Mrs Readman: No, we have many people that are on our page from the local area and even further afield, anybody can be involved.
Inspector: You talk about local community. You mention those other houses, when you think of the local community how far do you feel it actually goes from the houses that we are talking about this week?
Mrs Readman: Well definitely ours and then vicinity of Wordsworth Court because of where it is, it is almost included in ours as of where it is and to a certain extent the rest of the estate. All I can think of is halloween which won’t be happening this year. But they come up from all around and our little bit of the estate is part of the entire estate. Shelly Crescent.
Inspector: You mentioned Shelly Crescent. Would you regard those people who live there as also part of the community?
Mrs Readman: Yes definitely.
Inspector : You mentioned one lady in particular who had been there a long time. You mentioned her late husband had been in the mines. How many do you know to your knowledge that still have links to the mining community?
Mrs Readman: There are probably ten residents that are ex miners or family of ex-miners, but it extends further because there might be other people that live here that were part of the mining community. My husband for one did work down the mines for quite a while but he didn’t live on the estate.
Inspector: Thank you Mrs Readman.
Ms Wigley: Mrs Readman, I think we are done now so you can switch off your camera and relax.
Ms Bruce - (Evidence-In-Chief for @SaveOurHomesLS26)
Ms Wigley: You are Karen Bruce, and from May 2011 to May 2019 you were the Ward councillor for Leeds City Council for the area which the appeal site is located Rothwell ward is that right?.
Ms Bruce: Thats right.
Ms Wigley: Can you explain your situation with regards para2.
Ms Wigley: I’ve been proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with these residents who I have come to know over the last three years since they found out about the threat of losing their homes. I remember being contacted by the residents when a leaflet was distributed with some pizza menus about some plans for a development. Some of the residents didn’t see it, some thought it was about the fields nearby, maybe it doesn’t concern us. Some thought it was about their homes being refurbished. It quickly became apparent that the community realised it was their homes that were being redeveloped. They were devastated. I stood shoulder to shoulder. We have worked together to do deputations to council. We started petition, we ran stalls at local carnivals. We did a march through Rothwell. The residents have been very passionate.
Ms Wigley: Para 3 onwards, you talk of your role as ward councillor in helping with housing issues helping residents in wider ward in terms of being rehoused when come across problems. Can you explain a bit more about that?
Ms Bruce: as a ward councillor you get contacted a lot about local issues. Housing is probably the top one as we are in the middle of a housing crisis as a country. But Rothwell specifically there is a huge shortage of housing, council housing, social housing, affordable housing and I can only imagine it getting worse with the pandemic and people losing their jobs. Its a terrible situation where you have to keep waiting over two years and you have to keep bidding and getting disappointed and feeling like they have no chance as new people come onto the list as people have other needs and priorities. I have some people come to my surgery in tears and in despair really as housing is a basic human right isn’t it? Which is why I feel so passionate in helping SaveOurHomes save their community.
Ms Wigley: Thank you. What effect on your work if you were in post in terms of helping people find housing and on the council housing list do you think there would be if you were still ward councillor. If this proposal went ahead and these people were required to leave home?
Ms Bruce: Yeah its unimaginable, because we had never had that situation where at one time so many people so very close to each other in a community were looking to be re-housed. So you might have 300 people applying for each house at the moment. It could be 400. I really feel for the people already on the list and these people looking for housing. Its impossible situation. You just can’t house so many people.
Ms Wigley: You have been present for most of the inquiry and at the moment there is no particular policy in place to give priority to these residents to bid for affordable housing on the site, so what is your understanding as things stand? We will see if the appellant or council come up with anything else, but whats your understanding of the extent to which, people on the estate, other than the protected residents in protected tenancies, people on the estate could be housed on the affordable housing that is proposed to be provided? How likely do you think that is?
Ms Bruce: There are no plans there is no policy to given priority. Also I don’t see how you can fit 39 children into 11 houses. It would seem impossible. It would seem impossible I don’t think you can fit them all in there.
Ms Wigley: From your experience when you were using it and operating and advising on it the housing policy in Leeds. Do you think they would be given any priority because they are moving out of the existing estate?
Ms Bruce: As I understand it they wouldn’t automatically be given priority above the other people as things stand.
Ms Wigley: You are very familiar with the estate itself and the houses on it. What is your impression of the living standard and general standards of housing in peoples experience compared with technical proper affordable housing in terms of the NPF. How do they compare?
Ms Bruce: Im familiar with the estate. Residents may be getting fed up of seeing me, but on a serious note, as a councillor and even since then I’ve visited the estate on many occasions and Ive been in many of the houses on many occasions. The design is really good. They are very spacious. They have been built for families. Been built for communities. My house is old house, and my house hasn’t got insulation. I have had a look at new houses and had a look and surprised at how compact they are. They are trying to put as many houses as possible on the land. It doesn’t result in best housing even if they are insulated and they are new. There is more to living space than that.
Ms Wigley: What about comparing the Airey homes with those that are available in private rental local market? Standard, space, Considerations price? How do they compare?
Ms Bruce: I think it varies but I think some are paying near 500 per calendar month becomes 800 per calendar month. Would mean local residents are priced out. Not able to afford it. Thats one of the concerns I have actually.
Inspector: Missed the figure.
Ms Bruce: In the region of 800 pounds. Which I believe would price residents out of being able to afford private rents. One of my main concerns about this whole development is that this community are on limited means. They are going to be replaced by a community that has greater means to me that is almost like social cleansing and I really worry about that and the effects for the wider community.
MS Wigley: Is there anything else you wanted to add? Now is that time to I think you have you covered everything you wish to say?
Ms Bruce: Yes, Thank you Ms Wigley,
Mr White: No Sir, I will ask my questions to Mr Lynch. Thank you very much.
Ms Wigley: Sir, I think you are on mute.
Inspector: You’re quite right. Ms Bruce just on the point of affordability and alternative accommodation. We heard last week of Mr Wells and he gave some evidence on cost of accommodation on existing two roads and elsewhere in Oulton.
Ms Bruce: I don’t believe I have seen that evidence.
Inspector: If you are not in a position to answer then please tell me. I will tell you what he says. In terms of the exiting two bedroom accommodation on the appeal site he gives a range of prices per month regulated accommodation average £364 pcm and other protected assured tenancies £433pcm and ASTs are at £500 pcm. Similarly for 3 bedroom, £391 pcm for regulated, £384 for assured and then increasing to ones without protection for £511. Do them figures sound right to you?
Ms Bruce: Yes I believe so. The higher figure I quoted is for people who haven’t got protected tenancies.
Inspector: Elsewhere in Oulton I think you said people might have to pay £800 pcm? Is that right?
Ms Bruce: For private rented yes.
Inspector: Mr Wells suggested a figure might be 2 bed £550pcm and 3 bed £650 pcm. I just wondered what you think of them figures from your understanding?
Ms Bruce: That sounds on the low side to me.
Inspector: Can you tell me what you know about private rented accommodation in Oulton?
Ms Bruce: I have helped residents who have ended up in private accommodation, that’s how I’ve got some idea. Ive had a look on estate agents website and in windows in Rothwell. It’s quite in demand and its quite an expensive area to rent.
Inspector: Is that how you get your figure of what It could cost through your contacts and knowledge of local market?
Ms Bruce: Yes and also all of the houses are semi-detached so you have to compare like with like not just the number of bedrooms.
Inspector: I see. Moving on to what is available in affordable housing in the area. What is the extent of existing affordable housing in Oulton and Rothwell.
Ms Bruce: There is council housing but it doesn’t come up very often which is why there is such a long waiting time for people to get allocated it. There is certain amount of housing association housing as well then obviously with new estates that are being built there is an element if over a certain number of houses an element of affordable housing which is sometimes so called affordable housing which might be affordable for some people but not others. This housing that we are talking about is affordable, is truly affordable housing, its not just called affordable housing, in fact it isn’t called that really but it does meet that test of being affordable to the resident.
Inspector: Yes. Where about’s is the nearest council housing or housing association to the appeal site.
Ms Bruce: There is some in Oulton, I’d say about a mile away.
Inspector: Is that going in the direction of the station and the railway line?
Ms Bruce: It is yes.
Inspector: We heard something about this from Mr Tinsdale, I think he gave us a figure of 151 dwellings that we’re available in Oulton.
Ms Bruce: I won’t argue with him I’m sure he knows the figures.
Inspector: Thank you Ms Bruce. Miss Wigley do you want to come back with anything.
Ms Wigley. No thank you Sir, you can turn your camera off now if you wish and relax.
Ms Wigley: Shall I press on with Mr Lynch?
Mr Lynch - (Evidence-In-Chief for @SaveOurHomesLS26)
Mr White: Can I raise a point, in light of Ms Wigley, Mr Lynch we have down for an hour, can I ask that Dr Beroni evidence is dealt with tomorrow morning even if we finish early.
Inspector: Yes I have been content with that all along.
Ms Wigley: Good morning Mr Lynch, if I could ask you to have your proof to hand. The core strategy, the waste plan, and the NPPF.
They are the documents to which I will be referring to. I’ll introduce you to the inquiry. You are member of Royal Town Planning Institute.Worked as independent planning consultant for 15 years. You have also; Reads a list of roles he has been in. Is that all correct?
Mr Lynch: That is correct yes.
Ms Wigley: Before we get onto it there are a couple of corrections you wanted to make to paragraphs 30 and 32.
Mr Lynch: May I also ask you for document reference for Natural Resources and Waste Plan
Ms Wigley: CD3.07
Mr Lynch: Ref para 30, may I apologise for my omission on the word heritage in the list of topics mentioned, please insert in there Heritage and also the very same correction in paragraph 32. Heritage is a typographical error for which I apologise. I refer to para 34. I refer to NPF but it is actually core document review 6 11 to which I refer there.
Ms Wigley: I want to take you through key policies. Turn to your para 7. You refer to Leeds core strategy. First two bullets refer to textual paragraphs rather than policies as such. If we could have open the core strategy and take some in turn.First one is 1.2 sir, on electronic version page 5 or hard copy page 4 if that helps. Mr Lynch can you just draw out what you want to draw out in relation to that core strategy please.
Mr Lynch: 1.2 sets the scene and refers firstly to core strategy is the spatial plan which is derived from the community strategy "Vision for Leeds" which embraces the overall stratefic direction for the city.
A vision for Leeds. In practice means being fair, sustainable and inclusive. I think that is of relevance to the issues which are under consideration in this inquiry. It goes on to refer to difficulties mentioned about financial pressures, organisations businesses and the community of reference here and the city council working together for the people of Leeds now and in the future.
Ms Wigley: What is the relevance of that to the appeal proposal please?
Mr Lynch: How should those principles be applied to the existing community of Sugar Hill Close and Wordsworth Drive. For proposal to be fair, sustianable and inclusive, I think it would require the communities interests and involvement and stake in the city to be recognised so that they are included in the ambition set out here rather than excluded from it.
Ms Wigley: 1.8 you want to go to next. Page 6 electronic version.
Mr Lynch: First there is a need to give priority to sustainable development for economic prosperity, planning for economic prosperity of existing residents has to be considered here. Seeking to remove social inequality, I think its relevant here that in as much as Threats of eviction proposed would it to be carried out would probably add to social inequality which are key matters in that paragraph.
Ms Wigley: 1.14
Mr Lynch: Second sentence. Part of the same overarching strategic ambition, support desire for Leeds to be fair, open and welcoming with economy that is prosperous and sustainable and all communities are successful.
Ms Wigley: Any relevance to this community rather than generic?
Mr Lycnh: Desire for communities to be successful is directly relevant. If they were to be evicted, they would be excluded from that this community would not be regarded as having been sucessful. I think they would be regarded as unsuccessful. Queston about prosperous economy, if it is to be an inclusive prosperous economy it should be open for all people to benefit rather than be faced with additional hardship and uncertainty.
Ms Wigley: 2.1 Page 10 hardcopy.
My Lynch: Aim of vision for Leeds and the core strategy is the desire to ensure housing growth is planned and delivered in a sustainable way. Everyone can enjoy a good quality of life. Form and location of development respects and enhances the character in local areas in meeting the needs of communities. I think all of that is relevant with the case here.
Ms Wigley: I think I know what you say but why is it relevant?
Mr Lynch: Earlier point about inclusivity, if the community in this estate, the existing residents or the majority of them that do not have security of tenure that some have, if they are to be evicted, they are effectively being excluded from this vision. The housing growth in question does have its merits and we will consider them in due course but that benefit and those merits would be introduced at the expense of the existing residents in my view. It is a matter of this not being inclusive so far as they are concerned if this development were to proceed. The reference to the character of local area meeting the needs of communities brings to mind the discussion that took place on Monday in the heritage roundtable and when we heard from Mr Kitchen about the origins of this community and its associations with the coal mining industry in the past and since and I think it is part of the local character in this area. I think that’s a common conclusion from discussions on Monday.
Ms Wigley: Anything else you wanted to say in the texts?
Mr Lynch: Para 2.30, page 16 on my version.
Ms Wigley: On hard copy. Page 18 on mine.
Mr Lynch: Talking about the need to address health issues and disparities across the district as being a major challenge. That follows some of the other references already being made to the difficulties caused by financial pressures on the council. Strategy recognises that there is a duty to improve public health from the health and social care act. Integral part of the core strategy is to seek to improve public health and wellbeing and its dramitically illustrated in the current pandemic situation how crucial that can be. Indeed how many unexpected consequences can occur from the unusual situation including pressures on Mental Health. I think the threat of eviction, nevermind the actual reality of the experience should it occur is certainly a cause for a pressure on peoples mental health. I think that was clearly expressed by Mrs Readman earlier this morning.
Ms Wigley: Thank you, Proof at para 7, page 26 of my copy or page 24 for others. You were here when Mr Brooks gave his evidence. Is your view of the effect of general policy is the same or different to Mr Brooks. ?
Mr Lynch: In essence my view is same as Mr Brooks.
Ms Wigley: Briefly can you explain then how the general policy applies here please?
Mr Lynch: General policy as I suggest in my list it cross-relates to NPPF. Not clear as they have both been updated and the genereal policy is more recent. Consideration at the outset of first sentence is a repeat of the presumption in favour of sustainable development. In my view, brings us to a consideration of whether this development as proposed, in all the circumstances, is sustainable. My view is that it is not. That influences how I see the policy being applied. Council goes on as discussed with Mr White and Mr Brooks the other day to work proactively with applicants jointly to find solutions where proposals can be approved wherever possible. My view baring in mind the need to qualify as sustainable development there must be circumstances when the term "wherever possible" must mean that a proposal ought not to be approved. Otherwise there would be no mention of it in there. Although perhaps not phrased in specific and exact terms. I take general policy to be crucial to the development we are considering here. Crucial in a different way to various other policies to design, the layout, content, housing mix, provisons for parking, electric vehicle charging points and so on. I distinguish between the establishment of the principle, more accurately say the redevelopment for the others that follow. Thats my basis for including reference to the general policy at this stage.
Ms Wigley: Jointly finding solutions….Is the rest of the sentence relevant or not?
Mr Lynch: Its relevant in a contradictory way as has been made throughout and as is the central part of the Appellant case is that the proposed development does contribute to the economic, social and environmental conditions in Leeds and I dont deny that. My view it has to be weighed against the very same issues as they apply to the existing resident population and in my view the disadvantages and the consequences for the existing residents or indeed the majority of them, so far as they are concerned, they would be excluded from the improvement in economic, social and environmental conditions.
Ms Wigley: Thank you, SP6, moving on to housing issues.
Inspector: PDF is page 54.
Ms Wigley: Thank you. 41 in the hard copy. You said it is relevant can you explain that?
Mr Lynch: The content and the detail is not that relevant. Its part of the strategic background and reference was made in earlier exchanges as to site allocation plans SAP. Questions have occurred aspects of that in relation to green belt. The whole continuing contentious area which applies everywhere about housing and land supply and delivery. The background in Leeds which clearly Mr White is familar with his earlier remarks. Leeds have of late or in recent years had a challenge in meeting the recognisable 5 year supply. There have been a pattern of appeals about that very concern. The strategic total was significantly reduced as part of the core strategy. The expectation is that new development makes a contribution, 70 new houses on appeal site. Makes contribution to the required total delivery in Leeds. Thats fine, but at the same time it involves the removal of 70 houses. In relation to SP6 this proposal currently under consideration has no positive effect. It has a neutral effect. It proposes to take away 70 and put 70 back so its effectively a zero impact.
Ms Wigley: Page 150 or 154 depending on version you are in.
Mr Lynch: EN1?
Ms Wigley, yes EN1, what is the relevance to this policy and does proposal comply with it?
Mr Lynch: The policy is to give effect not just to Leeds position but the national position to meet the challenge carbon emissions. My view is that the development will involve a carbon loss, on that I don’t dispute the appellants case that the new houses will be more carbon efficient. I don’t deny that at all. The point in factor is how you factor in carbon costs from demolition. Experts are agreed that embodied carbon will eventually be recovered I think the evidence in Mr Sheppards proof was it could be unto 20 years. There are grounds it could be sooner than that.
The option of refurbishment has not been considered by Mr Blake Whilst refurbishment does involve embodied carbon it would be a much lower order that redevelopment.
Refer to two Core Documents in your proof. In your para 23 historic England report 2019 and a book called How Bad are Bananas?
7.13 and 7.14 if we start with 7.14 your bananas reference.
Mr Lynch: Mike Berners book is not directed at developers directly. It address peoples normal lives and is discipline of carbon counting. Two pages referring to a new build house. It refers in detail and comes to conclusion that new build that achieve a carbon neutral after a long period are not the preferred solution. Refurbishment that can
Ms Wigley: Case study that is discussed and final paragraph.
Mr Lynch: Based on case study, basic principle if this study is representative as he suspects it is. Investing in improvements to old homes is dramatically more cost effective than knocking them down and starting again.
Ms Wigley: What does he mean by Cost Effective what does he mean ?
Mr Lynch: I understand him to mean cost effective in terms of Carbon cost.
Embodied carbon is significant source of carbon but largely overlooked but can account for a third of a new buildings Carbon emmissions over a sixy year period. We must focus on using and re-using our historic assets to fully explore the opportunities that already exist. If we reuse what is already here we can avoid emitting carbon. Embodied carbon accounts for upto a third of the carbon emissions of a new building. Climate Change crisis demands a new approach to managing change to a built environment. We must prioritise our existing buildings by making refurbishments and re-use of existing buildings worthwhile, compared with, knocking them down. We must move towards a whole life carbon approach for buildings to ensure we make more holistic and sustainable decisions. If we do not count the whole life of carbon in buildings we may meet carbon targets without actually reducing carbon emissions and thereby lose the war against climate change.
Inspector: Can you give me the reference please Mr Lynch.
Mr Lynch: Page 62 and Page 63 sir.
Ms Wigley: If I can help you sir, the First section is from bullet list of page 62, second section is page 63 and third section read was at bottom of page 63.
Ms Wigley: EN6 - Strategic Waste Management
Mr Lynch: Why is EN6 relevant to this proposal. May I refer to question of the waste hierarchy.
Ms Wigley: Core document 3.7, Table 2.1 Waste Hierarchy and Table 4.1 (Categories with waste arisings) Is table that shows the categories of waste arisings. Which shall we look at first?
Mr Lynch: Hieracry is familiar, ambition is to avoid waste, to reduce waste then to reuse waste. Familiar principles that have been around a while now.
Ms Wigley: Table 2.1 page 20 in the plan. Reduce Reuse Recycle. The key ambition is to reduce.
We see table 4.1 (p.36 in pdf) Construction and waste demolition as a category generates the largest volume of waste generation is from this category.
Mr Lynch: Construction, demolition and excavation is one of the most if not the most sector of volume of waste arising in the city.
Table in EN6 distils that figure. Waste Stream tonnes per annum. Construction waste is the highest there. The point is that it represents an additional contribution to the waste in this category. There is an alternative which would involve significantly less construction waste being generated. Because this is less by preference of feasible alternatives. My view is it is not in accordance with EN6.
Ms Wigley: Now been through list in para 7. Before we go onto NPF in para 8. We just want to note that you accept that there are extra policies which you accept the proposal complies with them?
Mr Lynch: Yes that is right the exception being policy H2, which the policy is more nuanced. As far as im concerned they are fully complied with. I think its common ground with local authority and where I am concerned.
Ms Wigley: Can you explain the point on H2 please?
Mr Lynch: It is more permissive. It allows for non allocated sites to be called on. In other cases it perhaps would be. The policy is not only applicable to an unallocated site, but I don’t think its appropriate to invoke support from H2 when ***
Ms Wigley: You accept in para 28, you agree policy proposal complies with them concluding in para 33. You say it doesn’t comply overall as a whole. If taking a referendum you would see the number of compliance points vs non compliant policy points outweighs the non compliance ones. Why do you say we should not take that approach when balancing them?
Mr Lynch: Some policies are more pertinent. The other policies which are complied with are more relevant once the principle has been established. I think the Principle is open to challenge because of the general principles.
Ms Wigley: Para 8B is your first reference? Page 7 in the pdf. Can you explain context of the policy in your opinion and how it applies here.
Mr Lynch: National Policy Planning Framework is the support for and promotion of sustainable development. The golden thread running through the framework and by design the entire planning system. Three strands, economic, social and environmental
Social : promote strong vibrant communities we heard evidence today and earlier in the week. We have a strong existing vibrant community here, if proposal does not support those people it follows it does not meet proposal policy of sustainability.
Ms Wigley: 91, page 28 in pdf. Actually its 29 I do apologise. What do you draw from para 91 in this please?
Mr Lynch: 91 refers to the decision of planning policies and planning decisions to be safe places, social interactions, safety, accessibility, so fear of crime and crime do not undermine quality of life, support for healthy lifestyles. Promotion of local health and well-being needs.
Proposal would have the effect of denying the existing residents of the benefits that the proposal are supposed to achieve. I don’t argue new builds would promote to new community if the redevelopment would take place but it would be at the cost of the loss of the benefits to the existing community. Promotion of health lifestyle is not achieved as I have said earlier by the proposal of evicting people. The application should weigh against the granting of planning in this case.
Mr Lynch: The national policy and local policy in EN1 and EN6 are mutually compatible. The planning system should support the needs to changing carbon needs, including the conversion, (I think we stretch the point to refurbishments) but the point is it is in favour of retain existing building in preference to redeveloping them. It is not disputed it will in due course that carbon savings eventually. The fact that preference option of refurbishment has not been considered. It would be an alternative scenario and in my view para 148 weighs against the granting of planning consent.
Mr Lynch: P11,
Loss of the asset is significant, considered with overall benefits with the scheme offered. I don’t dispute the benefits.
Ms Wigley: Dr Usher referred to some of them decisions and they were later produced did you want to draw any points on them.
Mr Lynch: In each case the inspectors decisions reflected a recognition that even a non designated asset which might only be locally important can be a signficant and decisive material consideration in determining a planning application. In all of the cases they arrived at that conclusion that as non designated assets the buildings in question did not have any actual specific statutory protections had they been listed. I think those specific cases offer parrallels that support our conclusion that the balanced judgement in 197 weighs against the proposal.
Mr Lynch: May I just mention Para 199: There was discussion at the roundtable about the ability to record the buildings for archive purposes and the form that might take. It's worth noting the point here that the ability to record evidence of our past should not be a factor in deciding whether such loss should be permitted. It reinforces the points I've made on 197. In answer to your queston Ms Wigley. Can I go back to 91.
Ms Wigley: Yes, lets do that.
Mr White: Slight health warning. Ms Wigley expressly asked Mr Lynch to take part in rountable to give his view on policy. Ms Usher is not here. We agreed we would deal with policy relating to heritage at the roundtable.
Ms Wigley: Thats right, but of course Mr Sheppard also refers to heritage policy and I couldn't in reality take Mr Lynch to his planning balance without dealing with the heritage policy. Mr Sheppard would of course have opportunity to comment on how the heritage policy applies. The appeal decisions werent produced.
Mr White: I'm not having that Ms Wigley, You had sight of them, The inspector asked for them, and you had four weeks to ask for them.
Ms Wigley: I dont think there is any prejudice caused here in what I've asked Mr Lynch to comment on.
Mr White: Thats not the test, thats the point, you said lets deal with policy in the heritage round table which we both agreed on your suggestion. Now your dealing with policy in some detail relating to heritage in another forum to which we agreed to.
Ms Wigley: Well Sir, I'm going to para 91, which has nothing to do with heritage.
Inspector: No, the point about overall policy being taken into account by the planning witness and Mr Sheppard dealing with that is right in any event Mr White.
Ms Wigley: Thank you sir, Para 91. You want to say something further on that?
Mr Lynch: Only that this connects with the earlier references to Leeds Core Strategy and its recognition of the importance of healthy, inclusive and safe places for communities.
Ms Wigley: So its the connection between that and the core strategy.
Mr Lynch: If I understand your question being a closing question, may I respond by going to the final sentence of my proof
Ms Wigley: para 34 is it?.
Mr Lynch: The core strategy recognises the governments localism agenda, it puts listening to communities and gaining local consensus at the heart of the planning system. I conclude by saying the strongly expressed views of the people who will be directly and dramatically disadvantaged by this proposed development must carry substantial weight in the determination of the proposal. Thank you.
Ms Wigley: I have no further questions for you and I'm sure others will have. Are you content to proceed now or shall we take lunch adjournement?
Inspector: Lunch adjournment until 13:40