Explained: What is the Site Allocations Plan for Leeds and why is it controversial?

Leeds Civic Hall, where the meeting on Wednesday is due to take place.
Leeds Civic Hall, where the meeting on Wednesday is due to take place.

The Site Allocations Plan (SAP) is a blueprint for housing, employment, retail and green space across 11 areas of Leeds from 2012 up until 2028.

One of its key objectives as part of the authority’s Core Strategy – the planning policy framework adopted two years ago – is to “meet the needs of a growing population”.

Planners had identified 66,000 as a target for the number new homes needed across the authority area – a figure which some local politicians, campaigners and residents have contested.

In May, the SAP was submitted to the Government, with independent inspectors Claire Sherratt and Louise Gibbons appointed to examine it under section 20 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.

A public examination of the SAP was planned for October, and most aspects of this went ahead.

However, the council last month admitted that evidence had emerged suggesting that around 55,000 new homes is more like the number needed.

And this came after the Government released a document in September which – using revised guidelines for calculating future housing figures – suggested a requirement of 42,000 homes.

The homes element of the public review into the SAP was therefore postponed until March or February so the council could carry out “further technical work to consider the implications of the latest evidence and revised government approach to housing need”.

At the time, the council’s executive member for regeneration, transport and planning, Richard Lewis said: “The government’s latest consultation proposals came out of the blue for all local authorities and we need to take the time to fully consider their implications.”