U-turn on vicarage plans

editorial image

Councillors have voiced their frustration following a u-turn on a major Boston Spa planning decision.

At a Leeds City Plans Panel in April, an application build a replacement vicarage and six homes at 86 High Street and alter the boundary wall to create access was refused.

At the original Leeds meeting, four members voted to refuse; one supported with abstentions from the remaining members.

But this was changed at the Leeds North and East Plans Panel last Thursday when three voted against with the remainder of members voting for.

Coun Alan Lamb (Wetherby Ward), said: “The original decision at April’s Plans Panel meeting was to refuse, with reasons for refusal to be heard at a later meeting.

“For some reason, while nothing has changed with the application, the panel changed their decision.”

He added: “One of the reasons for refusal on this application, is that it goes against the Boston Spa Neighbourhood Plan, which calls for the development of smaller family homes.

“I have said before that we need affordable housing and smaller properties, suitable for young families starting out and for older generations to do downsize into.

“This application does not deliver that for our community.

“I am clearly disappointed with this outcome.”

Richard Irving and David Chary, for the Diocese of York and Park Lane Homes, had argued at the first meeting that the early 19th century grade II listed vicarage was draughty and in need of improvements.

The proposed new vicarage would be smaller, more energy efficient and sustainable.

Along with the strong objection from Historic England on this application from the Diocese of York and Park Lane Homes, Coun Lamb also objected to it and is now looking at next steps to continue the fight.

“Options are now somewhat limited but I am in contact with residents and Historic England about the best way forward.”