Leeds City Council have now reviewed their key site allocation plan (SAP) evidence; the outcome is a recommendation that the 37 Green Belt sites that were to be removed and developed, will now be retained as Green Belt. This includes all four sites in Aireborough, Ings Lane, Wills Gill, Hollins Hill, Guiseley and Victoria Avenue, Yeadon. It also means Coach Road, Nether Yeadon, Banksfield, and other Rawdon sites will not be under imminent scrutiny for possible development.
This recommendation will be put to the Leeds Executive Board this month, and if agree will be subject to a 6 week public consultation as a SAP main modification, starting 4 January 2021. If approved, the recommendation will go to the Secretary of State to be examined for soundness by the Planning Inspectorate.
LCC are also recommending that the Site Allocation Plan Review will not take place in 2021 as previously planned. Instead, the Council are beginning a re-examination of the Local Plan in the light of strategic changes in the City to do with sustainable planning and also the expected Government changes to planning law. Once all this is all done, then the SAP will be updated.
Following a review of housing land, LCC say that they have 6.8 years supply and a district wide surplus of 11,000 housing units up to 2028. There is thus no exceptional circumstances to change the Green Belt boundary: which was the foundation of the Judicial Review of the plan we brought to the high court on behalf of the Aireborough community.
Leeds City Council’s Development Plan Panel Chair, Councillor Neil Walshaw, said: “Removing these Green Belt sites from the SAP will draw a line in the sand and give all parties an opportunity to work together to deliver the high quality housing that people in Leeds deserve.”
“We need to look at the bigger picture when it comes to our housing requirements, taking in employment, transport, climate change and of course our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“This is a positive step as we near the end of a process that has been carried out with a wide range of stakeholders and generated significant public interest.”
Aireborough Neighbourhood Development Forum can now complete the Aireborough Neighbourhood Plan in order for it to become part of the new Leeds Local Plan.
We are pleased with this outcome and agree that it is time to end this long drawn out and complex 8 year process. The world had changed and we do need to work together on a more sustainable plan for the future needs of the area. We have fought a long battle for the right of the local community to have their views heard.
We will be publishing further plans for moving forward during Christmas 2020