The Leeds Site Allocation Consultation from 22nd September – 16 November 2015 is the last chance for you  to comment on the proposed sites in Aireborough for housing, retail, employment and green space, that Leeds City Council are proposing in their Local Plan 2012 – 2028.  The site allocation plan for Aireborough is here.  The  LCC website is here with plans for all other areas, the supporting documentation, an interactive map of sites, and the on-line response mechanism

Next Steps

The site allocation are not yet a ‘done deal’ – they have to be approved as sound and legal by a Planning IBradford LDF Hearing 1nspector appointed by the Government. Once Leeds close the consultation they will consider all the comments made by you,  to see if the plan is suitable to be sent to an Inspector for examination.  If it is, then there will be a hearing in Leeds in early 2016, which is a formal affair, rather like a ‘select committee’.   You may ask to speak at this hearing on the box on the Response Form.

Examining the Plan for Soundness

In the hearing the Planning Inspector will examine the Leeds Site Allocation Plan for what is known in planning as SOUNDNESS.   There are four tests for soundnesssoundness

  1. Has the plan been positively prepared based on objectively assessed needs of an area
  2. Does the evidence that has been gathered from reports, and statistics  justify the plan, is it the best alternative of the ones looked at, and have local people been involved
  3. Is the plan effective, can it be delivered in the timescale of the plan, given all the collaboration, infrastructure and amenities  needed
  4. Is the plan consistent with the NPPF and national policy

A plan submitted to the Inspector is deemed to be sound.  It is up to people who think it is not, to challenge the plan on the tests of soundness, and give their evidence for that.   That is why when you respond to the Leeds Site Allocation Consultation, it is better to say on what test of soundness you are challenging the plan.   You do not have to do this,  but it is helpful to the Inspector.

There is a short guide to soundness that we have written here.

How to Send a Comment to Leeds City Council

You can  respond to the current consultation anyway you choose, email, letter, or Leeds response form paper or on-line mechanism .Parchment1

If you use the Leeds Response Form you will have to fill in one form (either paper or on-line)  for each of the sites you want to comment on !!   So if your response covers points on the whole area eg infrastructure, or more than one site, you are better to email or write.  The Leeds on-line response link here. There is a pdf guidance note here for completion.  The pdf of the paper Leeds Response Form is here.

You may want to start filling in your points on the paper or on-line form, but not send it until late in the consultation when you have had time to review information. If you start to fill the form in on-line now,  do not submit, but go back to it when you want to add more. However, this is not an obvious process, and the on-line form opens up different boxes depending on answers – we therefore advise to use the paper copy for rough notes, and then either send a paper copy(s) of fill in on line when you know you are ready to send to Leeds City Council.

Email comments should be sent to, or by post to,  LDF Publication Draft Consultation, Forward Planning, The Leonardo Building, 2 Rossington Street, Leeds LS2 8HD

Comments are per person not per household.

The Inspectorate has said that Individual responses, made by residents or organizations, are the most helpful to the Planning Inspector.  (see notes on effective comment below)

Finding the Key Documents To Comment On

To start with here is an explantion of Leeds housing targets, and a guide to the consultation documents that you need to look at.

Quick Guide to Leeds Housing Targets

Your Guide to Understanding the Key Documents with links


These documents below tell you why a site has been chosen.  You need to look at the KEY documents as these have the points you should challenge or agree with in your response,  The Leeds interactive map on their website also gives you some of the reasons for the choice, but not all.

KEY Leed Plan – Site Allocation Proposals for Aireborough

KEY Site Assessment Forms – Including Sites Not Selected and Green Belt Review Data

Green Belt Purpose Methodology – appendix 2 gives the purposes

Detailed Site Sustainability Appraisals

Historic England Report on SAP

Statement of Community Involvement

KEY Leeds SAP Website, All Documents and Interactive Map

How to Make an Effective Comment

The more authentic the response, the more helpful it is to the Inspector.  The core of the Leeds Plan should be,  ‘how do we make a better place, that meets all needs, human and environmental’ so that is the question to keep in mind. The Inspectorate has said that the key is to justify with evidence any concerns you have over specific allocations, and that an indication of the test of soundness you are challenging would be helpful (tests of soundness above).

Here is what you need:-

KEY Downloadable Paper Leeds Response Form

Leeds Response Form explained, with quick guide on most important parts to complete and soundness

Questions to think about when making comments

Potential layout for an email or letter – response form comment section:

  • Start by giving your personal details, site number(s) and interest in the site – ie you may have special knowledge

  • Give the tests of soundness that your are challenging or supporting  eg that the site is not justified (ie there are better alternative ways of accommodating the housing target), or the site has not been positively planned as the specific needs of Aireborough have not been looked at.

  • Say if a site fulfills any of the 5 purposes of green belt with examples. All allocated sites are green belt except Silverdale Allotments.

  • Say what enhanced purpose a green belt site could be put to, that would benefit the area. It is helpful to be proactive and positive as it shows more sustainable options.

  • Say if the land has any ciritical characteristics for the character of the area, landscape, ecology, conservation, or heritage

  • Give your view on infrastructure eg transports, schools, healthcare, cemeteries, and facilities eg sport, leisure, young, old, disabled, sick, needed for a) current population b) needs of a new proposed housing site.  A useful point here is that one family home produces 6 traffic movements a day in somewhere where commuting is high – that means an increase in gridlock and air pollution on the already over capacity A65 (source CPRE).

  • Say if you are satisfied or not, that you have been informed and involved in the choice of these sites.

  • Say if you think Leeds and Bradford have worked together on their local plans for Aireborough Airedale and Wharfedale.

  • Give your evidence for what you say.   If you are able to refer that to the NPPF, the  Leeds Core Strategy policies,  or the Neighbourhood Plan vision, so much the better.

  • Don’t forget if you know a better place to put houses that are actually needed by local people, put it in your comment.  For example, is there a small space where a few low cost homes could go, within the built environment.  Let us know this as well, on the Housing Needs Survey below.

 Aireborough Housing Sites – Evidence Base

Here are some key documents to help you with the evidence you may need .  They give information on all the housing sites identified in Aireborough, with some ideas on criteria you might like to comment on.  You will also find on the menu bar at the top of the home page a drop down menu under Aireborough Site Allocation for each of the sites.  Under each box you will find information realevant for that particular site.

Aireborough site assessments reports – by site

Quick overview of some site issues

Aireborough Essence – Distinctiveness and Photographs

Aireborough Landscape Character and Distinctiveness paper

Aireborough Vision – themes for making a better place based on research

Comments on Aireborough sites and local plan – previously made

Aireborough Evidence Base – Statistic and reports

Aireborough Information Needed

Aireborough does need certain types of housing, small low cost property, and independent living are two.  Help us establish the real housing needs – LCC have not done this.

Housing Needs Survey

Help and Advice

There is further help local help available as follows :–pop ups jpeg

The Aireborough Neighbourhood Forum will have ‘pop-up’ manned displays, currently,

4th November,  Queensway School 4.30-8pm ,
11th November, Guiseley Methodist  Church 2 -7 pm,
You can also email us if you think we can help.

Leeds City Council, have now finished all their drop-in sessions.  They also say 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 finished their public meeting. Information on the site allocations is in their newsletter .

Leeds Site Allocation Team, has a telephone number  0113 2478092  or e-mail, 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.

Local RepresentativesAGM 4

Views To Local Representatives

You can also send views on the overall site allocations plan, or the process to our local Councillors and  MP’s – it is their role to represent you to Leeds City Council and to the Department of Communities and Local Government.   Leeds City Council is supposed to present a Local Plan that has stong input from local people (should be in the Statement of Community Involvement – but we haven’t found it yet), and they are supposed to have collaborated with neighbouring Local Authorities and kept records of agreements – you will find there is a Duty to Collaborate (technical term for working with other LA’s)  report in the documents.

Cllr Graham Latty – Guiseley and Rawdon –
Cllr Colin Campbell – Otley and Yeadon –
Stuart Andrew MP –
Greg Mulholland MP –

Views on Drop-In to Leeds City Council

If you have views on the consultation process,  your ability to understand the allocations, or the process, then we suggest you email Chief Planning Officer Tim Hill, and the Executive in Charge of Planning, Cllr Richard Lewis – copy in a relevent local councillor and MP, and us if you like