Leeds: ‘Change planning law to let us build where we need to’

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Leeds’s housing boss is launching a ‘Brownfield First’ campaign to urge developers to look to the inner cities first when building much-needed new homes, and to return decision-making powers on planning to local level.

Coun Peter Gruen is lobbying the Secretary of State for changes in planning laws which would revert to a “sequential” approach to development, meaning brownfield land – previously developed sites – is prioritised for development over greenfield land and is therefore released earlier and easier. He also wants more power returned to Town Hall decision-makers and to scrap the automatic right of appeal to planning inspectors.

The YEP has reported previously that the city owns 140 brownfield sites, covering 150 hectares of potential development land. Leeds needs to build 70,000 new homes by 2028 to meet escalating housing needs. Some of the 29 sites recently targeted by the council in a new drive have been dormant since the 1980s and 1990s.

 

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