Public consultation begins on proposed modifications to Leeds Site Allocations Plan
A six-week period of public consultation on proposed changes to the Leeds Site Allocations Plan for future housing, greenspace and development has begun today.
The consultation, which can be seen at www.leeds.gov.uk/yourcity, seeks views on modifications to the plan as put forward by two independent government-appointed inspectors following their initial consideration after public hearings were held to discuss it last year and in 2017.
The inspectors Claire Sherratt DIP URP MRTPI and Louise Gibbons BA Hons MRTPI have given general support for Leeds City Council’s approach to the plan as being appropriate and ‘sound, subject to some changes called main modifications.
In planning for housing growth in Leeds up to 2023, the inspectors have indicated that fewer green belt sites need to be released. They have recommended 34 sites, including three proposed large sites at Parlington near Aberford, land off the A65 at Horsforth roundabout and Stourton Grange, Garforth are taken out of the plan.
Only these specific proposed modifications are the subject of this latest consultation, rather than the plan as a whole.
All of the responses received in the consultation, which runs until 5pm on Monday 4 March, will be considered by the inspectors before producing their final report on the plan later in the year. This final report will then be discussed at a full meeting of Leeds City Council followed by a vote on it being formally adopted.
Leeds City Council executive member for regeneration, transport and planning Councillor Richard Lewis said:
“Reaching what will hopefully be the final stages of this very long process to ensure the city has a fully recognised and accepted plan is very pleasing.
“I would encourage people to take part in this consultation on the proposed modifications, which will help to ensure future growth in Leeds is carried out in a planned and sustainable way.”
Leeds City Council chair of the development plan panel Councillor Peter Gruen said:
“We are very grateful to the inspectors’ for their meticulous work and taking into account the context around lower housing numbers in Leeds so this consultation can now take place on their recommended modifications.
“The city is in a much stronger position as a result of this process, and hopefully later this year the Site Allocations Plan will be formally adopted giving reassurance to our communities they will not be subjected to speculative development.”
The inspectors’ recommendations are based on their considerations following 16 days of public examination hearings on the plan which were held last summer with the views of more than 470 participants heard, as well as more than 50,000 written comments.
Notes to editors:
A fully approved and adopted Site Allocations Plan is critical to ensure that the council has control over its five-year housing land supply and can avoid speculative development. The current Site Allocations Plan sets out a requirement for 66,000 new homes in Leeds from 2012-2028, as agreed in the Core Strategy adopted in 2014. The inspectors have suggested that the council only needs to provide for housing needs up to 2023. This will require the council to review the Site Allocations Plan by no later than 2023 to address housing needs after this date, but this will now be done after the Core Strategy Selective Review is adopted.
The Core Strategy Selective Review, which is running separately but in parallel to the Site Allocations Plan, is considering the 66,000 overall housing target for allocations based on the latest evidence. It is expected to be subject to public examination in February, with a recommendation being to revise the housing target for allocations down to 46,352 new homes in Leeds between 2017 and 2033.
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