Plans to demolish the historic Middleton Arms pub to make way for an Aldi supermarket look set to be rejected after Leeds City Council’s chief planning officer came out in favour of retaining the building and the mature trees in its grounds.
“The building is certainly considered to be of strong heritage interest,” a report from the planning officer says. “It is a fine example of a ‘reformed’ Public House…The loss of the building…would be significantly detrimental when considered from a heritage perspective.”
The report recommending that Aldi’s planning application be refused is to be discussed at a meeting of the Council’s Plans Panel (East) on 6th October. It says that Aldi’s proposed replacement building was inappropriate for the area.
“The proposed replacement building by reason of its overall size, siting, layout/design and landscaping would result in an over-dominant structure with associated increased effects of overshadowing, comings and goings and disturbance which would be harmful to the amenities of the residents of adjoining properties,” the report says. “…it is not considered that this latest replacement building offers the ‘positive contribution to the character and local distinctiveness of the historic environment.”
The report says that while there were some positive aspects to the Aldi application – such as the jobs it intended to provide locally and the extra choice it offered to local consumers – “the proposals are considered to be of detriment from a heritage planning, residential amenity and visual amenity/landscaping perspective and on balance the application is recommended for refusal on such matters”.