The planning minister, Nick Boles MP, came to Aireborough today, at the invitation of Stuart Andrew MP, to see for himself the situation regarding housing development : both the overburdened infrastructure caused by the 2000 houses build since the 1990’s on employment land, and the effect new housing proposals in Leeds Core Strategy will have.
Representatives of Aireborough Neighbourhood Forum were invited to meet him, along with Stuart Andrew MP, and Greg Mulholland MP, to discuss progress on neighbourhood planning, and what local people were saying in the ongoing research and workshops.
We pointed out that local people were saying they wanted a ‘moratorium’ on further housing development, until the issues on infrastructure, place making, and the local economy had been planned for. Although, it was recognized that low-cost housing and retirement properties were urgently needed by local people – the irony being that Housing Associations rents on ‘affordable housing’ on new developments are too high for many local residents in need.
However, the main point discussed was that Aireborough people probably had more ideas for a ‘pro-growth’ strategy, and how to make Aireborough a more vibrant local economy , than Leeds. And, we were keen to work more closely with Local Authority planners to develop a strategy from some of the ideas that had been suggested already – such as relocating Aireborough Leisure Centre to a new sports park, creating a proper town centre for Guiseley, and upgrading the facilties of Nunroyd Park to a Golden Acre Park.
All these suggests, and many others, are currently being put forward in our research programme, and at our workshops (next one on the 2nd February), to help create a ‘vision’ for an Aireborough renaissance, so if you would like to get involved, get in contact.