Leeds council bosses set to approve new consultation on future housing plans for outer north east area of the city

Leeds, Leeds Star

Senior councillors in Leeds will be asked to approve a new consultation on future housing plans for the outer north east area of the city at a meeting next week.

At the meeting of the executive board on Wednesday 21 September, councillors will be asked to proceed with presenting plans for public consideration on alternate sites for future housing development as part of the citywide Site Allocations Plan (SAP) which is currently being finalised.

The structure of the plan sees the Leeds district split into 11 geographical areas known as Housing Market Characteristic Areas (HMCAs) with each area being allocated a figure for future housing which together makes up the net 66,000 new homes identified in the Core Strategy as being needed in Leeds by 2028.

The plan for the outer north east area has needed to be revised following the withdrawal of Headley Hall in Bramham from consideration, which as a major site with a capacity for up to 3,000 new homes accounted for 60 per cent of the total new housing provision for the area.

Leeds City Council has now put forward alternative proposals for consideration to make up the shortfall in the housing allocations for that area, which if approved will go out to public consultation at the end of this month and will run until early November. Further details will be provided on this consultation if the decision to proceed is approved.

The outer north east issue is the only element of the Site Allocations Plan which remains outstanding as it is now being finalised in preparation for final approval by the council to be submitted to the government for independent examination, which is expected to be early in 2017.

The last major public consultation carried out on the Site Allocations Plan was carried out from September to November 2015, resulting in responses from approximately 10,000 people and more than 40,000 specific comments on aspects of the plan. This feedback was then considered by the council’s development plan panel earlier this year, helping to shape the final plan which will need to be endorsed by full council prior to being submitted to the government.

Alongside the Site Allocations Plan is the Aire Valley Area Action Plan (AVAAP), which covers a specific area south east of the city centre which is significant because of its economic regeneration potential.

The Aire Valley Area Action Plan was voted on and approved at today’s full council meeting, so it will now be referred to the Secretary of State for examination.

Leeds City Council executive member for regeneration, transport and planning Councillor Richard Lewis said:

“The withdrawal of Headley Hall from our Site Allocations proposals was disappointing but now we are putting forward alternative proposals to make up the shortfall in the outer north east area.

“I would encourage everyone with an interest in the future development of this part of the city to take part in the consultation, the details of which will be released shortly. The Site Allocations Plan has been developed and considered at length over many months and we are now almost at the final stage of being able to present it to the government which together with the Core Strategy would give Leeds a solid basis for all future planning, housing and development in the city.”

Both the SAP and the AVAAP follow the same key principles including a focus on bringing long-term empty homes back into use, building on brownfield sites as a priority, and bringing forward opportunities for development which will help support regeneration, make best use of infrastructure or provide new services.

Notes to editors:

The Site Allocations Plan follows on from the Core Strategy which was adopted in Leeds in 2014 after being endorsed by a government inspector with 70,000 new homes identified as being needed up to 2028. This figure includes an allowance for new development through demolitions and ‘windfall’ sites, which means the Site Allocations Plan and Aire Valley Leeds Area Action Plan allocates land for a net total of 66,000 new homes.

To provide these homes the plans split the Leeds district into 11 geographical housing areas with the new homes to be developed in three phases. Of the 11 areas, the two highest in terms of receiving new housing would be the city centre and ‘inner area’ of Armley, Beeston Hill, Belle Isle, Gipton and Harehills, Hyde Park and Woodhouse, Hunslet and Seacroft to help boost regeneration and economic growth in those parts of the city.