Yesterday (31st July) 9 of us attended the Aireborough Site Allocations Hearings. Some to give evidence about whether the Aireborough Green Belt sites should be built on, others to take notes or support. The session was lengthy and over ran its time slot.
It is impossible to say how it went. The issues are so muddled and its rather like the Mad Hatters Tea Party; we are discussing housing sites for 70, 000 houses when everyone knows that the figure is now between 42 – 52,000; but we have to pretend we don’t.
To make it more muddled, we are now still working under the old National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) when NPPF2, with tighter Green Belt policies qualifying exceptional circumstances, was released on 24th July 2018. The Minister says the policies of NPPF2 are material to the Leeds enquiry now, a point emphasised in a written statement by Stuart Andrew MP to the hearing; LCC and the Inspectors say they are only working to NPPF1 !!
The next step is for the Inspector to visit the sites, deliberate, and then discuss any modifications with the Council. They point out they are not here to make a better plan ( that is LCC’s job) they have been tasked by LCC to suggest ways of making the current plan sound.
We’ll open the Place Space on Town Gate on Saturday morning 10 – 12noon for anyone who would like to discuss.
Picture – N Wilson