Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessments 2012 (SHLAA)

Every year Leeds updates its map of land that has been listed as potentially available for housing development – its SHLAA.  Attached is the land that is on the 2012 map in Aireborough – SHLAA maps for other areas are here.   Leeds are also currently undergoing a process of assessing each area to see if it is suitable for housing, if so it will be potentially allocated as such on their Site Allocation Development Plans.

The ideal way for the site allocations to be done if for the Leeds Core Strategy to be examined and agreed, and then the site allocation are done in conjunction with neighbourhood plans.  It is a key principle of neighbourhood planning that it should support the ‘growth’ plans set out in a ratified core strategy, and not recommend less.

Neighbourhood plans should reflect the strategic policies of the Local Plan and neighbourhoods should plan positively to support them.  Neighbourhood plans and orders should not promote less development than set out in the Local Plan or undermine its strategic policies.  Outside these strategic elements, neighbourhood plans will be able to shape and direct sustainable development in their area”  National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) sections 184-185.

However, the Leeds Core Strategy is not due for examination until the Spring of 2013, with planned adoption at the end of 2013 – neighbourhood plans are only just beginning.   Leeds planners have said that they will consult with groups doing neighbourhood plans as they do the site allocations – this is one reason why the Aireborough Neighbourhood Forum needs to start looking at the area and collecting the evidence for what we want Aireborogh to look like, and how we want to develop our infrastructure.   Site Allocations are due to go out for consultation in the Spring of 2012, and therefore the Aireborough Neighbourhood Plan, needs to have a reasonable idea by that point of its direction and strategy.

One of the key issues with the SHLAA is the large amount of green space and green belt that is listed,  and the current target of 2,300 more houses for Aireborough in the years up to 2028.  The gathering of evidence for what Aireborough needs to make it a sustainable place to live, work and do business, whilst conserving its assets, sense of place, and heritage is now a vital task.

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