Controversial figures for the number of houses Leeds will need over the coming years could be slashed for a second time.
Greenbelt campaigners in West Leeds have been opposing plans for housing at sites in Pudsey, Rodley and Thornbury. Extra housing would also be built in Wortley.
The Labour council’s housing target of 70,000 new homes (from 2014-28) has been criticised, with both Leeds Conservatives and Liberal Democrats and local campaign groups saying it was too high and failed to reflect the latest evidence on population growth from the Office of National Statistics.
In July it was announced that the initial findings of a council review indicated that “a revised housing need for Leeds may be in the region of 55,000 homes up to 2033”.
Since then, however, the government has issued draft revised guidelines for calculating the figures and has decided the basic housing requirement for Leeds up to 2028 is 42,000 new homes.
The council is now proposing to postpone public examination of how many houses are going to go where – known as the Site Allocations Plan – from this month to February/March next year.
Council planning chief, Cllr Richard Lewis (Lab, Pudsey), said:
“It’s vital that we have the right long-term housing target for the city and that we don’t have any unnecessary loss of greenfield and green belt land.
“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. They are also, at this stage, part of a consultation and not necessarily the final word from government.
“The timing of the government’s announcement has meant that the public examination schedule is likely to be revised and we apologise for any inconvenience this unforeseen change may cause for participants. It is vitally important for the examination to continue, which is why we are committed to proceeding.
“Given the significance of the housing element, we are taking the appropriate and responsible step of reviewing the latest information fully in order to provide our communities and potential investors with certainty to protect our green belt from development and to be fair to all parts of the city.”
Land allocated for housing in the Pudsey area also includes: Calverley Lane, 70 houses at Hill Foot Farm in Pudsey, 160 houses down Hough Side Road, Pudsey (pictured, top), 99 houses off Acres Hall Avenue/Troydale Lane in Pudsey and 206 units off Dick Lane in Thornbury.
Land allocated for housing in west Leeds also includes: Airedale Mills in Rodley, the former Wortley High School site and Wortley Low Mills off Whitehall Road.
A full statement by the council can be read here.