Home in need of improvement - Hawksworth Moor

Home in need of improvement – Hawksworth Moor.  Photo Darren Sandersong Photography

In January 2016 the ANDF applied for a Neighbourhood Planning Grant from the Department of Communities and Local Government for just under £8,000 to do the next stages of the Neighbourhood Plan Programme.  (Following on from the  Evidence Base, Green Masterplan, Housing Needs Survey and Sustainability Reports done in 2015.)  We have now heard the grant has been awarded, together with more technical support from AECOM to do the next stages of the Green Masterplan.

We can now progress the Neighbourhood Plan for designing a thriving place.  (If you don’t know what a neighbourhood plan is there is a short video here.) However, the work has to be done by the  start of April, so we have a lot to get done in a short space of time – and your help and input  at key stages in workshops and pop-ups is vital.   The work covers:-

  •  A landscape value and sensitivity & capacity assessment – this is used firstly to ascertain how important the landscape is to the character of an area, and in what ways.  Secondly,  to gauge how sensitive the landscape is to devaluation or increased value from development.   The consultant who will lead this work is Landscape Architect Tom Lonsdale, whom we have worked with before, and who has a vast amount of experience in these area, as well as a great deal of forward thinking.
  • An ecology study – we know, and indeed Leeds City Council acknowledged in the site allocations plan, that a number of areas need ecology studies.  However, we have had difficulty in finding anyone to do a study, as so many ecology companies work for developers.  We are not sure why that matters, but it seems to.   We are now pleased to have found, via a recommendation from AECOM, a reliable and professional ecology company to carry out a phase 1 assessment on a number of sites.  This will be followed by a more detailed assessment later in spring, where we will need the help of local people’s knowledge.
  • AECOM will be carrying out phase 2 of their Green Masterplan,  putting more detail to their proposed green spaces,  green route, and built environment assessment,  as well as inputting the results from the landscape and ecology work.
  • Housing Site Design Feasibility Study. During 2015 we undertook a study on housing need in Aireborough. This has made it clear that there are certain types of housing that the area is short of – eg smaller homes for single people.  Therefore, we are pleased to be working with  the Town Planning Department of Newcastle University,  to evaluate, and more importantly design, several potential sites in Aireborough for such housing.  The project will major on design and enhancing an area. It will be managed by Colin Haylock  of the Royal Town Planning Institute. 

Following this stage of the work we will then be seeking funding for the following projects, to move the neighbourhood plan on.  The idea is to get as far as we can as soon as possible – an emerging Neighbourhood Plan has weight in planning decisions, and with Planning Inspectors.

  1. An Urban Structure, Characterization and Movement Framework
  2. An assessment of Aireborough as a catchment for floodwater for the rivers Wharfe and Aire
  3. A local transport assessment and solution study – to link into transport work being undertaken for the airport by Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Combine Authority
  4. Listing assets of community value.(buildings or land which are used and valued by the community) These can be protected in as much that if they come up for sale the community will have the opportunity to purchase.