Setback for Leeds long-term housing plan

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A long-term housing masterplan for Leeds has suffered a setback after a key piece of the jigsaw was ruled out for development.

Just days after Leeds City Council launched a final round of public consultation on its Site Allocations Plan (SAP) - the locations of 66,000 planned new homes by 2028 - it has emerged the landowner of a “significant” site in north east Leeds has pulled out.

The University of Leeds has announced it no longer wishes to pursue plans to build 4,000 homes on its 600-acre plot near Headley Hall, between Bramham and Tadcaster, after a decision by its governing council.

A university spokesman said it was concluded the plans would have been too risky, adding: “Our work to explore the feasibility of the development has revealed the significant up-front costs and scale of investment required to provide the infrastructure for a development of this size.”

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Council bosses have admitted the news is a blow to masterplan, as they now seek to find alternative proposals for the area. Leeds City Council’s executive member for regeneration, transport and planning, councillor Richard Lewis told the YEP: “It doesn’t undermine the whole of the plan, but it does cause us a bit of a headache.”

Coun John Procter (Cons, Wetherby), who had supported the Headley Hall development plan, said he was “stunned” at the decision and had written to parish councils and councillors to look at “what this news means for our area.”

A Leeds City Council spokesperson said: ““As the University of Leeds no longer wish to pursue the proposed development at Headley Hall, we will need to discuss and look at alternative proposals which will be consulted on in due course. While Headley Hall was a significant site, it represents less than five per cent of the total new housing in the site allocation plan and does not impact on those other allocations. The Your City Your Plan consultation continues and we’d urge people to have their say.”

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