A public examination of Leeds City Council’s masterplan for all future planning, development, housing and growth in the city is underway. The examination, heard by a government-appointed planning inspector, will debate all aspects of the council’s Core Strategy which will guide all development in the city over the next 15 years.
It will be heard daily starting at Leeds Civic Museum before moving on to Civic Hall and Leeds Town Hall and is expected to last at least for two weeks. The examination is the latest in a lengthy process which it is hoped will result in the strategy being ratified early in the new year.
Extensive public consultation has already taken place into the strategy, which will oversee all other planning, development, housing and growth guidelines and documents to be worked to in Leeds up to 2028.
A key element of the strategy will be guiding how the city can provide up to 70,000 new homes in that period.
The core principles guiding the strategy are:
– An agreement to build more houses to address housing need
– A need for significant proportion of new affordable housing
– A strong focus on building on brownfield sites first, in order to promote regeneration and protect the greenbelt
– Fairness across the city, in terms of all parts of the city accepting some new housing
– Respecting and retaining community identities and character, rejecting possible suburban sprawl
– For development to be phased across the strategy up to 2028, evenly spread and in a sustainable way
– Infrastructure of services around new developments, such as schools and health services to also be carried out in a manageable and sustainable way
The examiner will hear from representatives of the council as well as community groups, developers and individuals to give their views on aspects of the proposed strategy.
One of those to address the examiner with an overview statement on Tuesday 8 October will be Leeds City Council’s executive member for neighbourhoods, planning and support services Councillor Peter Gruen, who said:
“I am very pleased to be able to address the examiner on behalf of the council and explain the key principles behind the Core Strategy. I cannot overstate the importance of getting this strategy right as once finalised it will be the key guide to all development and growth in Leeds for the next 15 years.
“The focus of the strategy is to provide a way in which Leeds can continue to develop and grow as a major UK city to meet the needs of all residents both now and into the future. The balancing act is to ensure we do that in a fair and sustainable way, protecting what is unique about Leeds as a city in terms of its character but also allowing for vital new growth and regeneration. Utilising our brownfield areas to benefit our existing communities is very important.
“Housing is rightly a key element of the strategy which a lot of people are concerned about, but as long as we can agree there is an acceptance that all parts of the city take their share of new housing and especially affordable housing it can be managed in a fair and sustainable way.”
To find out more about the Core Strategy and the public examination, visit www.leeds.gov.uk and search for Core Strategy.