Consultation on Development of New Birks Farm, Ings Lane, Guiseley 18 May 2023, 5.30 – 7pm

New Birks Farm on Ings Lane, Guiseley has been falling into disrepair for a number of years. The owners are now seeking to develop the area around the old farm buildings and are consulting with the public about such a development – as is required by planning law. Details of the public consultation with Johnson Mowat Planning Consultants are below. We stress this is to help develop a planning application for New Birks Farm, Ings Lane Guiseley. It is not to comment on a formal planning application that has been made to Leeds City Council – that will be done at a later stage.

The intention, according to the consultation website, is to “Renovate the existing farmhouse and sensitively convert some of the adjoining agricultural buildings. Some of the existing detached structures located to the rear of the farmhouse and adjoining agricultural buildings will be demolished and replaced with new build structures to form a small well-designed residential scheme of around 5 dwellings.”

Overall, it is envisaged that the development would open views within and across the surrounding countryside, whilst also providing a positive contribution to the Guiseley Conservation Area.” 

The proposals will be supported by a comprehensive landscaping scheme and introduce opportunities to provide significant biodiversity and wildlife benefits. The Site would continue to be accessed from Ings Lane using the existing access track.

Previous Development Proposals For Birks Farm

Site Allocation Plan

The whole of the Ings Lane site (10.84 hectares) was in the Leeds Site Allocation Plan for a total of 160 dwellings (originally 285) and lay in the Green Belt. The Aireborough Neighbourhood Development Forum successfully challenged the exceptional circumstances used to remove this site from the Green Belt and the site was instead removed from the SAP:the final Inspector’s Report is still due, but this removal is fully expected to be confirmed. Full ANDF analysis for the whole site here.

The Farm Buildings are in the Guiseley Conservation Area, and therefore a condition of the Site Allocation Plan, which will still apply here, is that:

Any development should preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the Conservation Area. Views through the site from Ings Lane towards the High Royds Tower should be maintained. New Birks Farm and the existing positive buildings, namely the farmhouse, adjoining stone barn and small scale curtilage outbuildings, should be reused and refurbished . Further guidance on these requirements is provided in the Heritage Background Paper page 5.

A planning application in the Green Belt may be approved under ‘very special circumstances‘, one of which is that reuse of buildings, which must be done in a particular way. The new building footprint should not be disproportionate to the old, and the openness of the Green Belt should not be compromised see NPPF149. The buildings are then deemed to be Green Washed as is currently the case with the High Royds development.

2013 Planning Application 12/05356/FU

Before this, a planning application for the development of the farm and farm building area for 3 dwellings, was passed in 2013 by Leeds City Council. The full details of the planning approval are here, they include the following conditions which would have been based on the old Leeds Unitary Development Plan 2006. New conditions will be based on the Leeds Core Strategy 2019:

All new stonework shall be constructed in natural stone to match the stonework of the existing building in stone type, colour, face dressing, coursing, bed depth and colour, and detail of jointing material.

No vehicular gates shall be erected fronting the highway for the residential use accesses for the lifetime of the development.

The residential access arrangement must be in only from the southern residential access and out only from the northern vehicular access.

No demolition or development to take place within the area indicated until the applicant, or their agents or successors in title, has secured the implementation of a programme of architectural and archaeological recording. This recording must be carried out by an appropriately qualified and experienced archaeological/building recording consultant or organisation, in accordance with a written scheme of investigation which has been submitted by the applicant and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

Approved 2013 Planning Application for Birks Farm

Current Public Consultation

The consultation websites says that

We are looking to host an open invitation community consultation at New Birks Farm on 18th May 2023 between 17:30 and 19:00. We hope residents take this opportunity to learn more about the proposals and provide direct feedback on the proposals.”

“For those unable to attend the community consultation event, the material shown will be made available on this website following the conclusion of the public event. The website will remain open for public feedback leading up to the submission of a formal planning application.” 

“It would also be our intention to continue this open dialogue with stakeholders at regular intervals between now and the submission of a planning application. We hope you can take this opportunity to work collaboratively with our Client and positively influence the development at this early stage.”

The consultation letter here, is being sent out to the residents around Birks Farm today, but anyone can attend and respond to the consultation events. .