Leeds City Council had refused the original application on a number of grounds, including the adverse impact on the character and identity of East Ardsley. SLR provided design input into a revised masterplan which provided an extensive public open space from which attractive views of the locally prominent church would be obtainable. The revised masterplan was accompanied by a detailed landscape and visual assessment which identified that the fundamental characteristics of the locality would be retained, and in some cases enhanced, as a result of the proposed development.
As a result of this work the Inspector concluded that the revised masterplan “shows a substantial gap that would give a sense of openness and protect views of the church. Concern about character and integrity therefore has no basis”. The Secretary of State agreed with this conclusion.
The appeal was recovered for the Secretary of State’s determination in May 2015. Following this, between 23 February and 1 March 2016 there was a public inquiry at the Town Hall in Leeds. Having assessed the evidence, the Secretary of State was satisfied there would be no adverse impacts of sufficient weight to indicate the development of the site should be restricted. He also regarded the adverse impacts of the proposed development to be limited, and states that there would be no material harm that would outweigh the very real benefits of providing new homes to boost the supply of housing.