At the behest of many of his Constituents Stuart Andrew MP managed to get a debate in Parliament, on Tuesday on the Effects of Housing Targets in the Pudsey Constituency. Here is the outcome also featuring, Alec Shelbrooke (Elmet and Rothwell), Philip Davies (Shipley), and Jason McCartney (Colne Valley), being answered by Planning Minister Brandon Lewis. Here is the video player (click on the screen and scroll to 4pm with the blue tab, ignore the noise) , and here in a transcript from Hansard.
Just to remind you, here are the five purposes of green belt that are discussed
To check the unrestricted sprawl of large built-up areas
To prevent neighbouring towns from merging into one another
To assist in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment
To preserve the setting and special character of historic towns
To assist in urban regeneration, by encouraging the recycling of derelict and other urban land.
There are also two more calculations that sensible economists and planners know should be made, but which seldom are
1. The disbenefits on the environment of building in the green belt, both in terms of ecology and wellbeing
2. The negative economies of scale of infrastructure costs on the edge of urban districts are known to be uneconomic eg without well through through transport plans building in the green belt ends up with excessive congestion, which has a knock on effect on wellbeing and pollution costs.
And here are the number of houses built in Aireborough in the last 15 years, together with Leeds targets
Apr 2000 – Mar 2012 Houses built 1,497
Apr 2012 – Mar 2015 (approx) Houses built 423*
Houses in the process of being built 343*
Housing site allocations on brownfield 196*
Housing site allocations on brown/green site 144*
Overall Total Since year 2000 – 2,603
Employment land – net loss
Facilities and services – net loss
Infrastructure investment – Leeds still to supply
Infrastructure planned – Leeds still to supply
Transport investment – Airport ground links road/rail
– Appley Bridge – Railway station
Site allocations on green belt – 1,260* excluding PAS
Site allocations on green belt – 79% excluding PAS
PAS^ site allocations on green belt – 316
PAS on green belt – 100%
* = Makes housing target of 2,366 for Aireborough in Leeds LDF
^ PAS Land also called Safeguarded land – is land taken out of green belt in order to build on, if Leeds does not have a 5 year land supply for its high aspirational target. With Leeds annual houses target planned to rise in a couple of years time this means this land is vulnerable. The developers only have to landbank and say it is not viable (ie profitable) to build, for the PAS land to become vulnerable to development plans. Moons Field Guiseley, and Bingley Lane and Derryhill, Menston were all PAS sites.
On top of this there are many more houses being built and planned for Horsforth and Farsley. Including a site for over 700 houses on the green belt along the A65 between Rawdon Crematorium and Horsforth Roundabout.