Councillors vote to adopt Leeds core strategy

Leeds City Council members have voted to adopt a 15-year planning blueprint for the city which contains a target to provide 70,000 homes in the district up to 2028, with a sequential approach giving priority first to the development of brownfield land.

Leeds: council has voted to adopt core strategy and CIL charging schedule (picture by Tom Blackwell)
Leeds: council has voted to adopt core strategy and CIL charging schedule (picture by Tom Blackwell)

The council's core strategy planning document was debated and then given a vote of approval at a meeting of the authority's full council yesterday. Members also voted to adopt a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) development tariff at the same session.

The core strategy contains plans to provide 70,000 new homes in the Leeds district up to 2028, at a target rate of 3,660 homes a year up to 2016/17.

The council has acknowledged that the growth planned in the core strategy cannot be accommodated without a review of green belt boundaries, but the submitted core strategy only committed the council to carrying out a selective review.

In his report published in September, inspector Anthony Thickett recommended that the core strategy be modified to remove references to a selective review.

"A comprehensive review is … more likely to ensure consistency with the spatial strategy and increase the likelihood that boundaries will not need to be reviewed again at the end of the plan period," the inspector's report said.

A report to the council's executive board in September said that "in practice it is considered that this change will make little or no difference".

Thickett also backed Leeds City Council's CIL charging schedule in a report published in September, concluding that the levy is "set at a level that will not put the overall development of the area at risk".

The council's CIL includes five residential charging zones, with rates ranging from £5 to £90 per square metre of floorspace.

Leeds City Council executive member for neighbourhoods, planning and personnel Peter Gruen said: "We have sought to be ambitious and realistic about what we need if we want Leeds to be the best city in the UK in terms of housing, land for employment and green spaces.

"Only with this new core strategy which has been thoroughly consulted on and approved can we hope to achieve these aims."

Gruen added: "Within the strategy it has been vitally important that we get the new Community Infrastructure Levy right with charging levels appropriate to attract investors but also to help us pay for vital infrastructure improvements in Leeds."

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