New Leeds planning Core Strategy approved
A new planning strategy which will underpin all future development and growth in Leeds has been approved today by the city’s councillors.
The Core Strategy, which will provide a 15-year planning framework to guide all development across the whole Leeds district, including housing growth, was debated and then given a vote of approval at today’s full council meeting.
The council also voted to introduce a new Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) on new developments in the city as a new way of collecting contributions from developers for infrastructure facilities such as transport, education, the Leeds Flood Alleviation scheme or green space.
Both proposals have been developed following an extensive consultation process with the public and all stakeholders, with the final preparation stage being analysis and approval from a Government-appointed inspector and examiner Mr Anthony Thickett.
Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Keith Wakefield said:
“I am delighted that after years of hard work and consultation we have now approved the new Core Strategy for Leeds.
“Its importance cannot be overstated, as it provides us with a modern blueprint for sustainable economic growth through development, housing and job creation across the whole city for at least the next 15 years.
“Today is a highly significant step towards making Leeds the best city to live and work in the UK and I’d like to thank everyone who has played a part in this major achievement.”
Leeds City Council executive member for neighbourhoods, planning and personnel Councillor Peter Gruen said:
“The Core Strategy represents our ambitions for Leeds right through to 2028 and as such it is real achievement for our city. We have sought to be ambitious and realistic about what we need if we want Leeds to be the best city in the UK in terms of housing, land for employment and green spaces. Only with this new Core Strategy which has been thoroughly consulted on and approved can we hope to achieve these aims.
“Within the strategy it has been vitally important that we get the new Community Infrastructure Levy right with charging levels appropriate to attract investors but also to help us pay for vital infrastructure improvements in Leeds. Together these two proposals will offer a strong lead for all future development across the city.”
The key principles of the new Core Strategy, which has been developed in several stages since 2006 are:
- Providing 70,000 new homes in the Leeds district up to 2028, at an agreed rate of 3,660 a year in the initial years
- Within that 70,000 is a commitment to a 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 Leeds accepting some new housing
- Where possible to bring long-term empty homes back into use
- Supporting economic and job growth, in line with the Leeds Growth Strategy
- Protecting green space and green infrastructure
- Respecting and retaining community identities and character, rejecting possible suburban sprawl
- Infrastructure of services around new developments, such as schools and health services to be carried out in a manageable and sustainable way
- Supporting regeneration and environmental enhancement
Consultation on the Core Strategy has taken place with the public, councillors, developers and representatives of the constructions industries, community groups, parish councils, Leeds Civic Trust, Leeds Chamber of Commerce, the Environment Agency, the Highways Agency and neighbouring local authorities in the wider Leeds City Region.
The Community Infrastructure Levy, including a draft charging schedule with rates varying depending on the type of development being proposed and the area of the city it is proposed in, has similarly been developed after consultation with all key stakeholders and the public.
Following adoption, both the Core Strategy and the Community Infrastructure Levy are now subject to a statutory six-week period of possible legal challenge.
The levy, which will fit within the new Core Strategy framework, will be introduced in April 2015 linked to changes to the existing national Section 106 regulations which come into force then.
For more information on the Core Strategy and Community Infrastructure Levy including the inspector and examiner’s reports visit www.leeds.gov.uk
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