Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Planning chiefs expected to refuse 700 house development

A seven hundred house development is expected to be refused by Leeds City Council as it seeks to safeguard green spaces in the city.

The substantial plot of houses in Scholes, which has met with strong resistance from locals who opposed the plans, looks set to be turned down at the City Plans Panel meeting on Thursday 28 August.

It would have seen 700 houses, along with residential care and retail spaces, built next to the village by Barratt and David Wilson Homes.

Leeds City Council said the location of the site and its scale is not in line with its housing delivery policy – Site Allocations Plan (SAP) which seeks to identify what areas of land can be used for building projects.

The SAP, which is still being drawn up, identifies which sites can be developed in the city and makes clear each must factor in sufficient infrastructure needed to support sustainable growth such as schools, roads and medical services.

The council report states that the developers had failed to show the road network would be capable of dealing with the significant increase in traffic. Compounding this is the fact there is only one bus an hour serving the area.

Further it is thought allowing development on this site would prejudice future housing and growth in the village seriously impacting its identity and character.

It carried on to say the development was contrary to its main housing and development policy – The Draft Core Strategy, which aims to concentrate the majority of new developments as close as possible to main urban area and major settlements.

Officers argue such a large development should be factored into larger plans for housing within the city, such as the Scholes Neighbourhood Plan and not be dealt with in isolation as a one-off application, which might lead to or of its kind in future.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Executive Member for Neighbourhoods, Planning and Personnel, said:

“If approved by members this should send a message out that we are looking to protect green space, where possible, in our city and will not let developers build inappropriately.

“We want to encourage the delivery of new homes to meet the growing need of residents here in Leeds. However, it is important we can choose the right sites and not be open to planning by appeal.

“If the planning panel up hold this report it demonstrates that the council is in a good position to resist inappropriate housing development. It is very important to us that this housing is delivered in the most suitable places through planning and consultation.”

A second site at Breary Lane East, Bramhope where 380 houses are proposed to be built is also set to be rejected on Thursday 28 August at the Plans Panel Meeting. Again there are concerns around the sustainability of the scheme in terms of infrastructure. There were also issues around access to the site.

Panel members have visited the site at Scholes already and will visit the Bramhope site in the morning of Thursday 28 August and then hear all the arguments for and against before reaching a decision on both applications.

For further information see individual planning reports

For media enquiries please contact:
Dan Johnson or Laura Ferris
Leeds City Council press office,
Tel 0113 395 0244

Big changes happening to how you register to vote

All Leeds residents will receive a letter through the post over the next two weeks telling them about the biggest change to the electoral registration system in nearly 100 years.

The Electoral Registration Officer will write to 550,000 people in Leeds with a letter explaining the new, more secure, system of Individual Electoral Registration.

The new system is being introduced to replace the old Victorian system where the “head of household” registered everyone living in a property. Now, each individual will be responsible for registering themselves, and this can be done online. Of the 550,000 people receiving letters, 470,000 residents will automatically move onto the new electoral register, however some will need to take action to join or remain on it.

Tom Riordan, Leeds electoral registration officer, said:

“Leeds residents will receive a letter between 20 – 28 August that will explain the change to the electoral registration system. Look out for the letter as it will tell you if you have been automatically transferred to the new register or not. If you have not been transferred, you will need to provide some additional information and the letter will tell you exactly what you need to do.”

Samantha Mills, head of campaigns at the Electoral Commission, said:

“This summer the Electoral Commission will launch a major advertising campaign that will raise awareness of the change to Individual Electoral Registration. We welcome this change, which will lead to a more secure register and replace the outdated Victorian concept that a single ‘head of household’ is responsible for registering everyone.”

For more information visit .

If you do not receive a letter contact Electoral Services on 0113 2224411 or

For further information contact
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council communications team
Mob: 07712214224