Our two crowdfunded Landscape and Urban Character Reports are receiving praise from organizations such as Historic England, the University of Leeds, and Planners. They have been deemed both leading edge and good practice in urban design and have been mentioned in ‘how to do’ manuals, including one from Leeds City Council. The Landscape Report has even been named a modern ‘Domesday Book’ for Aireborough – although the last one was rather scant !!
We are delighted with this praise; we have faced many barriers and some opposition in getting the work done. Credit must go to the ANDF team and steering committee for their determination to see that Aireborough had the detailed and up to date evidence it needed for real placemaking.
Thanks too must go to everyone who played a part. The work was envisioned, funded and done by local people, under the expert guidance of professional landscape and urban design architects Tom Lonsdale (ex Landscape Team Manchester City Council and advisor on the South Pennines) and Andy Graham (ex Urban Design, Leeds City Council).
We will in the next year be producing the work in paper form to go into libraries and schools for educational purposes. However, the first task is to use both these reports, along with the others we have produced on areas such as Housing Need, Ecology, Woodland, and an Area Vision, and one done by LCC on Employment, in a Neighbourhood Plan for Aireborough. We will also be using the photography done by Darren Sanderson in the Aireborough Landscape Project some of which you can see here.
Aireborough is undergoing major changes, and we are surrounded by areas such as Greengates, Shipley and the Wharfe Valley, from Menston to Ilkley, who are equally earmarked for a lot of new development – housing, employment and transport. It is vitally important that there is a Masterplan for Aireborough, and the only means we have of doing that is the Neighbourhood Plan. We have asked Leeds City Council for an Aireborough Masterplan and did bring it up at the Inspector’s Hearings, but to date this has not been forthcoming, so we must use the means we do have – the Neighbourhood Plan.
To get the plan drafted, we will be calling on local people again to come and help in areas where they have a particular interest, or expertise – we particularly need analysts, writers and people who can write policy, but simply knowing and caring about the area is reason enough to come and join in. We are aiming for a plan that will link with the one that has been drafted by Otley, which you can see here. Equally, Ilkley are getting to the stage of having a similar draft plan, which is currently under consultation. There will be more notices and requests on this in the weeks to come. But in the meantime have a look through the current reports through the links on the area where we all live.