COUNCILLORS have welcomed a decision to withdraw an application for a retirement development in Guiseley - but urge caution over the future of the former allotment site.

In a notice published on June 29 on the Leeds Planning Portal it was confirmed that McCarthy Stone and Stonebridge Homes Ltd had withdrawn their application for permission to build the retirement care village of 51 apartments and 15 bungalows on land at Silverdale Avenue in Guiseley.

Councillors Paul Wadsworth and Paul Alderson (Con, Guiseley and Rawdon) said it was good news for local people that the applicant had withdrawn the application which both had objected to. They had engaged extensively with local people through letters, emails, and face to face discussions.

But they also cautioned that the site could still be subject to future planning applications, and said they were committed to continuing to engage with local people to keep them updated.

Councillor Paul Wadsworth (Guiseley and Rawdon Ward) said: “I understand the applicant has withdrawn this application, which I welcome. We worked to ensure residents were aware of the proposals and knew how to give their views. We ourselves objected to the plans as the development would have been totally out of character for the area and resulted in substantial loss of local greenspace land.

“However it is important to be clear that the site could still be subject to future planning applications. We would need to consider such plans if and when they come forward but we are committed to doing what’s right for the area and ensuring the views of local people are listened to.”

Councillor Paul Alderson (Guiseley and Rawdon Ward) said: “I am pleased that the applicant has withdrawn this application. In my view there were a number of problems with it, including overdeveloping the site, the impact on nearby residents, traffic issues, and of course the loss of greenspace. We kept residents up to date via letter, email, and face to face meetings and listened to their feedback. We also made our own objections to the proposals

“Whilst it’s good news that this particular application won’t be going ahead, we must accept that future applications could come forward. If they do, we will continue to fully engage with residents, ensuring they have a chance to provide feedback, and we will always judge any plans on what is most appropriate for the local area.”

Recently elected Labour councillor Cllr Eleanor Thomson (Guiseley and Rawdon Ward) said: "During the election campaign, I spent considerable time listening to residents, the main private allotment holder and others in the area. My aim was to understand their concerns during the consultation process and planning process and to ensure that their voices were heard. 
"I submitted an objection to the application based on a number of factors including its scale, the proximity of a 4 storey building to neighbouring properties, traffic/parking, environmental concerns and the incorrect assumption that the private allotments could be counted as public green space (which was backed up by planning officers). I understand that it is likely that a further application will be submitted, but Leeds City Council planning officers have made it clear that it would have to be redesigned and scaled back significantly. I will be keeping a close eye on the process." 

McCarthy Stone has been approached for comment.