There are many changes to both national and local planning being discussed over the coming weeks. Until the outcome of all these changes is clearer then it is difficult to determine how they will affect Aireborough. Meanwhile, the Forum is now putting together the Neighbourhood Plan, based on the evidence base we have painstakingly put together – we will continue with this work as speedily as is possible and will be calling for more people to help in this task as part of specific teams.
Some of the local and national changes currently happening
LEEDS CITY COUNCIL
SAP – Airport
Following site allocation hearings in October 2017 for employment, retail and green space LCC was asked to do more work on a Masterplan for and around Leeds Bradford Airport, including re-examining the need to release 36h of Green Belt for an Innovation Hub. Obviously, the new Airport owners will also have a say in this, and there is an alternative site for the Innovation Hub at Coney Park which is mostly brownfield land. The Forum asked that this Masterplan should include Aireborough given the amount of change being planned in the area.
SAP – Housing
LCC are now planning to hold the Site Allocation Plan for housing in July 2018. The SAP will still be allocating land for just under 70,000 houses (69,426), but owing to Government and LCC figures pointing to housing need being between 42,000 and 55,000 up to the year 2033, it is proposed that only 45% of Green Belt sites will be allocated in each Housing Market Character Area. The remaining SAP Green Belt sites will be deemed ‘Broad Locations’ a pool of sites to be called on when needed during the life of this or future plans. This is still a proposal, and discussions will take place at Development Plans Panel on 21st November 2017. Details of this and the proposed allocation of sites is here in item 8 and its appendix 1-6.
If the housing need has fallen to the level indicated there is actually no need for Green Belt sites to be allocated at all, and instead of the designation ‘Broad Locations’ LCC should be doing a proper Green Belt Review across the whole of the District to find the most sustainable locations – which is what they are supposed to do, and told to do by the CS Planning Inspector. Green Belt is there to curtail urban sprawl and ensure urban regeneration amongst its 5 purposes. Leeds has a Brownfield Register of housing site for 32,000 houses, 16,000 of which are on sites with no planning permission. In addition, they have already built or have sites with permission for 57,041.
Core Strategy Review and Housing Target
The housing target for Leeds is now being reviewed. A new Strategic Housing Market Assessment for Leeds has been published, and a target is now to be decided. Other changes to the core strategy being looked at including green space provision: during the SAP hearings on green space in October 2017 we, along with other community groups and Councillors pushed for more detailed specifications on what green space was needed in different areas eg more allotments, more sports fields and a better plan for the quality of that space. A public consultation on the CSR is due in early 2018, an Inspector Hearing is planned for late 2018 with the idea of adoptions of a new Core Strategy and Housing Target in Spring 2019.
Yes, the new housing target in the CSR (Late 2018) , is being planned for after the Site Allocation Plan for 70,000 (July 2018). No, we are not sure why this is either.
The Government is planning a ‘Great Leap‘ forward in Housing Building in the Autumn Budget on 22nd November. Ideas that have been floated include relaxing planning restrictions on the Green Belt, more permitted development on building higher, a relaxation of planning law, the privatisation of Housing Associations who provide affordable housing, and stamp duty reforms. A speech on housing and the ‘Great Leap’ by Minister Sajid Javid on 16th November can be found here.
If you want to comment on these proposals then write to the relevant MP, either Stuart Andrew for Pudsey, or Alex Sobel for Leeds North West. CPRE have been running a campaign against any relaxation to Green Belt protection legislation. Green Belt is a specific designation around areas prone to urban sprawl, only a small proportion of green land is deemed Green Belt.
Housing White Papers
There are now two housing white papers going through the process of changing the National Planning Policy Framework. A consultation on a revised NPPF is due in early 2018, with changes being made later in the year.
- Fixing our broken housing market – Looking at ways to build more houses more quickly
- Planning for the right homes in the right place – Looking at how housing targets are calculated
Will any of this help in planning a sustainable community in Aireborough? The only thing the local community can do is produce a Neighbourhood Plan on what we want to see happen based on our up to date evidence. If you’d like to help in this task please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org, or come and find us at the Yeadon or Guiseley Christmas Light Switchons – we’ll be manning a stall to raise funds for the work there is to do.