Leeds: Campaigners call for transparency for homes targets

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Campaigners are calling on the council to be more transparent about claims they need to build 70,000 homes over the next 15 years.

Leeds City Council has to build thousands of homes to cope with the city’s rising population.

But campaign group WARD are casting doubts over the authority’s figures and claim they are “inflated” targets.

They say population statistics taken from the 2011 Census are lower than original predictions, which are used to determine the number of future homes needed for Leeds, from the Office of National Statistics.

They claim the council should have lowered its housing estimates in light of the new figures from the 2011 Census.

Dr David Ingham, chairman, said: “WARD has persistently been asking to see the statistics upon which the Leeds housing targets have been based – without success.

“Even a written request from Stuart Andrew MP has not managed to prise this raw data from Leeds planners.”

Dr Ingham also suggests that other cities, whose estimated population growth is higher than Leeds, have lower housing targets which has been approved.

A spokeswoman from Leeds City Council said planners have met with WARD.

She added: “The council has taken great care in estimating the city’s future population and planning for its growth and housing needs.

“We specifically commissioned research into this before publication of both the census and our draft core strategy.

“We consider our estimates to be well in line with census statistics. WARD and other interested parties will be able to come and put their case to an independent planning inspector at the public examination of the Leeds draft core strategy for housing in October.”

Daniel Brown.

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