by David Mackie
A new primary care medical centre that has been mooted for Moortown has been given conditional approval, despite the site being on one of Leeds Council’s designated ‘Urban Green Corridors’.
Councillors on the North and East Plans Panel discussed the proposal for a two-storey building with car park on King Lane, Moortown.
They then gave approval for the build last week, with the final say going to the chief planning officer after the public consultation expires in May.
The proposal has been made by Abstract Integrated Healthcare Ltd.
So far, objections to the build have focused on the site’s importance as a strip of green space. On this point, planning officers said: “While it would be a disruption to the green corridor, we have worked with developers to minimise this.
“It does not set a precedent for development in green corridors – each project is considered on its own merit.”
The developers will be required to offset the loss of green space by enhancing and landscaping the land on the other side of King Lane, including planting trees and wildflowers.
Councillors queried whether drainage plans were sufficient, with concerns around the medical centre’s car park increasing water run-off. They also pressed officers on the intended use of the £40k that the developers will be giving the council for public transport.
Local residents are approving of the plans, with only two registered objections thus far. Horsforth Councillor Brian Cleasby (Lib Dem), who sits on the Plans Panel, also approved, but warned that developing the site should lead to an increase in protections of surrounding green space:
Access to the site will be from Saxon Mount.
The proposal involves the merger of two existing GP practices: the Moorcroft Surgery and Nursery Lane Surgery. They will form a joint primary care centre. The scheme has the backing of the NHS and GPs.