High Royds by Darren Sanderson

Following the Full Leeds City Council meeting on Wednesday 9th November, ALL Councillors and the public have NOW been informed that a review of the Housing Target of 70,000 net has been STARTED.

To date, the work consists of INITIAL work looking at computer models; based on the latest household data (2014 base projections) which yet again shows a drop in projected household numbers and a slight increase in household size for the Leeds area.

However, calculating what is known as Objectively Assessed Housing Need (OAN) is not a simple matter. A new Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) is likely to be needed. The Council are seeking advice on the methodology to use. (There has been much discussion in the Department of Communities and Local Government recently on this point and new guidelines are on the cards.)

There will be more information on the Housing Target Review available for the Leeds Development Plans Panel on 22 November 2016. So, we will see what that says, and take things from there.

The issue of a Review is now especially important, as Leeds City Council no longer have the all important 5 year supply of land ready to develop, to meet their annual housing target of 4,375 houses a year to 2028. This is serious;it means the Core Strategy housing policies are now OUT OF DATE – and the NPPF assumption in favour of sustainable development applies (under policy 49).

The reasons for this situation are numerous, (this is what we said at the time of the adoption of the Core Strategy)  but include

  • an undeliverable, aspirational, Leeds housing target of 70,000 houses;
  • far too much reliance on this one 5 year land supply clause of the NPPF by Government:to the detriment of all others important for sustainability which is just madness
  • Developers not building on the land they have planning permission for, whilst claiming brownfield land is not viable for them (ie it doesn not produce the required level of 20% plus profit agreed by the 2010 Coalition Government).

The people who suffer from the mess caused by ALL PARTIES to current UK planning are communities – current and future : and to a great extent Planners who professionally want to do the job they trained for, and are feeling totally demoralised. We hope that Leeds will be undertaking their Review with far more community input this time.

In the meantime the Site Allocation Plan is progressing for reasons we’ll explain in another post.