Leeds: ‘Be reasonable’ plea over housing vision

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proposals for the locations of up to 70,000 new homes which Leeds City Council wants to build by by 2028 are to be discussed by senior councillors this week.

And bosses are pleading with communities across the city – many of which will see thousands of homes built on their doorsteps – to “take the time” and examine the long-term vision in a “fair and reasonable” way.

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In March, the council launched a major review of its core strategy to build 70,000 homes. This was after an Office for National Statistics (ONS) report showed that the number of households in Leeds is projected to rise by 44,500 by 2028, less than previously envisaged. But last month, council chiefs said they had analysed the ONS report, but were staying with their original strategy.

This Friday at Leeds Civic Hall, the council’s Development Plans Panel will meet in public to debate the latest draft of the city’s housing and development masterplan.

Coun Richard Lewis, executive member for regeneration, transport and planning, said: “There has been a fair amount of confusion caused by misinformation, so I would appeal to everyone to take the time to look at what we are trying to do in a fair and reasonable way. In order to help our city develop, all communities need to be open to having some new housing, although we say again our focus is very much on brownfield first and protecting our countryside.”

The authority’s housing vision recommends splitting the city into 11 geographical areas and developing the 70,000 new homes in three phases up to 2028. Of the 11 geographical areas,the city centre and ‘inner area’ of Armley, Beeston Hill, Belle Isle, Gipton and Harehills, Hyde Park and Woodhouse, Hunslet and Seacroft will receive the highest number of new homes.

The final Site Allocations Plan is expected to go out to public consultation in the autumn.

The Labour-run council said the ONS report failed to take into account factors including housing demand created by 56,000 new jobs expected to be created in Leeds by 2031.