Council city growth masterplan moves closer to completion

The council’s masterplan for future planning and growth of the city is moving into the final phase as council chiefs are asked to approve limited changes recommended by the inquiry inspector.

At a meeting of the council’s executive board on 5 March, senior councillors will discuss the feedback received from a planning inspector on its Core Strategy document and decide whether to accept his recommendations. By formally approving the changes, the strategy will progress to the next stage and a six week public consultation exercise will be launched giving everyone a chance to comment upon the latest changes.

The Core Strategy will guide all development in the city over the next 15 years.

Earlier this month the council welcomed the planning inspector’s comments to its Core Strategy with many of the main components of the plan left unchanged. A key element of the strategy is providing 70,000 new homes in the city by 2028 which received backing from the inspector, along with suggested housing distribution across the city.

The plan also has a strong focus on concentrating building on brownfield sites in order to promote regeneration and protect the greenbelt and the inspector endorsed the council’s policies on where development should take place, including the split between brownfield and greenfield land.

A report to the executive board recommends accepting and publishing all the main modifications put forward by the inspector together with changes to affordable housing and gypsy and traveller policy. One change suggested by the inspector is to remove the step up in the number of houses to be provided over the life of the plan (15 years). This has implications for the supply of housing land in the short-term which the council will need to consider.

Leeds City Council’s executive member for neighbourhoods, planning and support services Councillor Peter Gruen, said:

“We’ve reached an important stage in the process and feel confident and encouraged by the inspector’s comments, which show that we’re on the right track with many key elements of the plan unchanged. It’s vital that we get the strategy right as once finalised it will be the key guide to all development and growth in Leeds for the next 15 years.”

The core principals guiding the strategy are:

- An agreement to build more houses to address housing need

- A need for significant proportion of new affordable housing

- A strong focus on building on brownfield sites in order to promote regeneration and protect the greenbelt

- Fairness across the city, in terms of all parts of the city accepting some new housing

- Respecting and retaining community identities and character, rejecting possible suburban sprawl

- Infrastructure of services around new developments, such as schools and health services to also be carried out in a manageable and sustainable way

The inspector will deal with outstanding issues of affordable housing and gypsy and traveller policy at further hearing sessions in May. It is anticipated that the Core Strategy will be adopted later this year and become the key planning document for Leeds.

To find out more about the Core Strategy visit www.leeds.gov.uk and search for Core Strategy.

Laura Ferris

Senior communications officer

Communications and marketing

Leeds City Council

Tel. 0113 24 75472/07891 274201