Goodness what a sea of documents, and planning speak !! Leeds City Council’s Site Allocation Draft Consultation is not an easy read, and after the Drop-In Session last week, we thought some might appreciate some guidance on which documents are useful, where they are, and what all this ‘soundness’ on the response form actually means.
So, based on our own experience we’ve produced these Guidance Notes, to do just that. You can download a pdf here (updated version 2) . You will find the second section helps you navigate to the key information on site allocations assessments – ie why they have been chosen. Please share this link, and download for a friend or neighbour who may not have the internet.
The last section gives some idea of what a ‘test of soundness’ is and what you should think about, when classifying your response – which the Planning Inspectorate says you should do.
Remember you can give your response in any form you like, here is a pdf of the response form.
Informed View or Vote?
The Guidance Notes are for those who want to understand the process and reason why sites have been chosen. Who want to think about alternative ways of meeting housing need, or enhancing Green Belt sites in a more sustainable way. There are also many people who have useful information on the sustainability criteria of sites, that they might want to bring to Leeds’ or the Inspector’s attention – very possibly that Leeds do not have. Most of the sites have been refused planning permission in the past – do these reasons still stand?
However, the simple way to give your view is to use it as a form of ‘vote’ on the plan, as if it was a referendum. Do you think the plan is ‘sound’ or not (see the back page of the guidance notes). Look at the interactive map on the Leeds site, and the basic information there. Fill out the response form (paper or on-line), tick the relevant boxes at section 3 for your view of soundness (see the back page of the guidance notes), and section 4 for legality. Make a comment to support your view and send it back. Neighbourhood Plans have to have a referendum to be adopted – why don’t Local Authority Local Plans? So use the form as an ‘informed’ vote.
There is further help local help available as follows :–
The Aireborough Neighbourhood Forum will have ‘pop-up’ manned displays, currently 2nd (pm) and 30th October In Morrisons, Guiseley. More are being arranged. You can also email us if you think we can help. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leeds City Council, have another drop-in session in Pudsey on 30th September, Horsforth on 3rd October, and ones in the City Centre on 29th and 30th October . See Leeds Drop-In time table. At the moment Leeds are saying they do not have the resource to hold a public meeting to explain the plan and answer questions, which a number of people, ourselves and local Councillors have requested. They believe what they are doing is adequate given it is all paid for by the council tax payer.
Rawdon Parish Council, have a public meeting to ‘Stop Green Belt Development’, 18th October, Greenacre Hall, 4pm. More information in their newsletter they say. This need not just be for people in Rawdon.
Leeds Site Allocation Team, has a telephone number 0113 2478092 or e-mail email@example.com, where they say they can try to facilitate any special needs to make sure your views are registered. You can have documents translated free of charge in any language (what all of them?), but if you want a copy in English there will be a charge of £80 for the full set.
Landscape is important when considering Green Belt and New Development – you will find help with thinking about this for Aireborough here .
If you would find any other information or guidance useful, and it is something we can publish on-line and share, please email us. You tell us what you need – we cannot promise to supply it, but we will try and find someone who can. We cannot print and send material as we do not have the funds. We will be publishing some key points about both the sites and the plan that you may like to consider in your own response.