Reflection on Planning and Licensing reporting

We learnt about how planning and licensing decisions are made at council level which is something I’ve long been interested in like how decisions are made about new building developments or opening/closing new or existing pubs/clubs/bars.

We also had to turn a preview story round very quickly about an actual council meeting that is taking place in Leeds tomorrow regarding a planning application for the Merrion Hotel including a Marco Pierre White Restaurant.

I saw the difference between a badly run local news website compared to a very professionally run website which produces up to the minute news.

We did a breakdown of how we would report on a council meeting and what is expected of us before/during/after a council meeting and how we would go about it.

After this lecture and another fantastic powerpoint from John I do now have a greater understanding of what skills I need to use for reporting on such a rich amount of stories.

It was blatantly obvious that council planning and licensing committees do provide a lot of excellent stories to report on which is something I am increasingly finding during my time working on such stories for my degree, be it a creation of a new anti-austerity party, council services and now planning and licensing.

It also comes at a very interesting time for Hull with the recent approval of a planning application for the Ferens Art Gallery and the start of regeneration work in the town centre for the 2017 City of Culture events.

Leeds City Council Story- Preview

Marco Pierre White Restaurant Plan For Top Leeds Hotel

An application has been made by TCS Holdings for planning approval for an internal and external two level upgrade of the Merrion Hotel in Wade Lane which will include a Marco Pierre White Restaurant and 134 bedrooms.

It is noted that the development is close to, but outside, the City Centre Conservation Area which runs along the middle of Woodhouse Lane, and the First Direct arena

There is one objection from Leeds Civic Trust who say that the extension, which is to replace the octagonal building which currently stands there, is too ‘Blocky’ and that a more interesting building could have been designed.

The plan is due to be discussed by the City Plans Panel at Leeds City Council at 1.30 tomorrow afternoon and is expected to be given approval with certain conditions attached including employment and training opportunities for local people and a contribution for a new drop off area to Wade Lane.