Middleton retail park saga goes to Plans Panel

Plans for a new shopping centre in Middleton on the former bus garage and Co-op warehouse site will be discussed by Councillors next week, but planning officers are recommending they be turned down again.

As South Leeds Life has previously reported, The developer, Marshall CDP, first submitted plans for the site including a Lidl supermarket and B&M Homestore in October 2016. These were rejected by planners eleven months later because of concerns about landscaping and noise nuisance to local residents. Revised plans were submitted in February this year and will be discussed at the South & West Plans Panel on Thursday 18 October 2018.

In their report to the Panel, planner officers express their concern that if B&M move out of their current store at Middleton District Centre, it is unlikely that another retailer would take over the site, threatening the viability of the District Centre.

The report concludes:

“It is considered that on balance, this revised application has overcome the previous reasons for refusal which relate to loss of protected trees and the impact on adjacent residents with regard to noise caused by deliveries and loading. However it is now considered that there is a material change in circumstances relating to retail impact, from the previous application. As with the previous application the decision on whether the proposal will result in a significant adverse impact (thus requiring refusal in accordance with para 89 of the NPPF and P8 of the Core Strategy) rests on the likelihood of the existing B&M unit in Middleton town/Town Centre being re-occupied.

“Officers now consider that this likelihood has now significantly reduced, thus tipping the balance to the extent that it is now considered that the application is to have a significant adverse impacton Middleton Town Centre. Therefore in accordance with para 89 of the NPPF and P8 of the Core Strategy, it is recommended that the application should be refused on retail impact grounds. It is not considered the benefits of the scheme in terms of economic investment outweighs this harm.”

The Plans Panel will meet on Thursday 18 October at 1:30pm at Leeds Civic Hall. You can read the full report on the Council website here.