YEP Says, November 12: Does Leeds really have the space for 70,000 new homes?

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...and make Christmas shopping trips fun for all the family

LEEDS needs new homes. If you believe the council, 70,000 of them. That figure falls midway between the 90,000 that developers have called for and the 50,000 others have advocated.

Either way, it’s an enormous number of new houses and the obvious question is where will they all go?

Leeds is rightly proud of the fact that it is unique among many big cities in having ready access to so much green space. It would be a crime if this were to be sacrificed at the altar of development.

The housing strategy revealed in today’s YEP includes the provision that the council will ensure that 65 per cent of the new homes will be built on brownfield land.

But this agreement only lasts until 2018 – and it’s questionable as to how many of the 70,000 homes will be built in the next four years given that this plan is set to run until 2028.

The council insists that each application will be dealt with on a “case by case basis”. This places enormous pressure on councillors to get the decisions right and surely creates the potential for a number of long and costly public inquiries.

Nevertheless, Leeds does need a housing plan and the addition of new homes – especially affordable ones – has the potential to take the city forward. But that depends on them being built in suitable locations, with the required school, roads and services to match.

Make shopping trips fun for all the family

THERE’s no question that Trinity Leeds has been a massive success and has done much to restore confidence in the city and played a part in securing further investment.

However, for a supposed “retail and leisure” complex, its leisure facilities are thin on the ground.

So owners Land Securities are right to look to beef up this offer at both Trinity and the White Rose Centre.

Here’s an idea – along with the likes of a cinema and bars, why don’t they look at adding a pair of indoor play centres?

That way parents can get a breather and the kids won’t get bored during those Christmas shopping trips.

First buses.

YEP says: WE need to change our attitude to bus travel