Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Board (Infrastructure, Investment & Inclusive Growth) - Thursday, 8th December, 2022 10.30 am

Venue: Civic Hall, 1st Floor West,LS1 1UR

Contact: Becky Atherton (0113 37 88642)  Email:

Link: to View Meeting Recording

No. Item



To consider any appeals in accordance with Procedure Rule 25 of the Access to Information Rules (in the event of an Appeal the press and public will be excluded)


There were no appeals.




Exempt Information - Possible Exclusion of the Press and Public

1  To highlight reports or appendices which officers have identified as containing exempt information, and where officers consider that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information, for the reasons outlined in the report.


2  To consider whether or not to accept the officers recommendation in respect of the above information.


3  If so, to formally pass the following resolution:-


  RESOLVED – That the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following parts of the agenda designated as containing exempt information on the grounds that it is likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the press and public were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information, as follows:-




There was no exempt information on the agenda.




Late Items

To identify items which have been admitted to the agenda by the Chair for consideration.


(The special circumstances shall be specified in the minutes.)


There were no late items.




Declarations of Interests

To disclose or draw attention to any interests in accordance with Leeds City Council’s ‘Councillor Code of Conduct’.


No declarations were made.




Apologies for Absence and Notification of Substitutes

To receive any apologies for absence and notification of substitutes.



Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors A Hussain and S Lay.




Minutes - 2 November 2022 pdf icon PDF 233 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the minutes of the meeting held on 2 November 2022.



RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting held on 2 November 2022 be confirmed as a correct record.




Hydrogen Compatible Infrastructure pdf icon PDF 338 KB

To receive a presentation from Northern Gas Networks on the development of hydrogen compatible infrastructure in the city and wider region.


The report of the Head of Democratic Services provided the context for a presentation about the development of hydrogen compatible infrastructure in the city and wider region.


The following were in attendance for this item:


-  Mark Danter, Acting Head of Hydrogen, Northern Gas Networks

-  Neil Evans, Director of Resources

-  Polly Cook, Chief Officer, Sustainable Energy and Air Quality

-  Councillor Helen Hayden, Executive Member

-  Councillor Katie Dye, Chair of the Climate Emergency Advisory Committee


Mark Danter gave the Board a presentation which provided an update on the conversion of gas networks to be able to use hydrogen.


Issues highlighted included the following:


·  Phase 1 of the project that looked at the safety aspects of using hydrogen.

·  Phase 2 which considered use of the gas network.

·  The next stage which would involve village trials and this would commence in 2025.

·  There had been trials with purpose built properties that had prototype hydrogen boilers and appliances.

·  There were proposals for a town pilot scheme that would commence from 2030 and this would serve between ten and twenty thousand meter points.  The east side of Leeds had been identified as a potential site.

·  Trial scheme of using blending hydrogen and natural gas – benefits included the continued use of existing appliances.


The Board were also addressed by Neil Evans, Polly Cook and Councillor Hayden.  Issues highlighted included the following:


·  Challenges to provide de-carbonised heat sources and whether hydrogen could be used.

·  Methods of producing and storing hydrogen.

·  Whether hydrogen could be used for commercial and industrial uses.

·  Potential for using hydrogen in transport.

·  Work with energy companies to develop local hydrogen infrastructure.


In response to Members comments and questions, the following was discussed:


·  The cost of using hydrogen was not yet known but research was being undertaken.  Green energy had got cheaper as it became more available.

·  It was now possible to make boilers that were convertible to use hydrogen and there was discussion with manufacturers to produce these.  Current appliances were not capable of being adjusted for hydrogen use.

·  The village trial would have an exit plan which included reverting back to natural gas or other forms of heating such as air pumps.

·  Hydrogen was not seen as an overall solution to heating provision.  Different methods were more suited to different types of property.

·  Funding had been received from Ofgen towards the trial projects.

·  There was some concern that energy costs would become more expensive to the consumer.

·  Storage of hydrogen and use of hydrogen to produce electricity.

·  There was a need to explore alternatives to the use of gas and hydrogen may not be the most cost effective solution across the whole country.

·  The blend of using hydrogen with natural gas had a mix of 20% hydrogen.  This was suitable for use with current domestic appliances and gave a 6.7% carbon saving.

·  There would be a decision made by Government in 2023 as to whether blending would be used.

·  There was ongoing work to repurpose as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 50.


Local Plan Update pdf icon PDF 373 KB

To receive an report from the Director of City Development regarding the update of the statutory Development Plan for Leeds. 

Additional documents:


The report of the Director of City Development informed the Board of the update to the statutory Development Plan to help address the climate emergency, improve health and wellbeing and promote inclusive growth.  Consultation was running from 24 October 2022 to 19 December 2022.


Martin Elliot, Head of Strategic Planning presented the report.


The following was highlighted:


It was reported that the draft policies were currently at the formal stage of consultation before a revised plan would be submitted to the Secretary of State.  The proposals would then be subject to public examination which would look at the soundness of the policies in line with national guidance.  The Government was in the process of changes to planning guidance and regulation towards climate change.


In response to Members comments and questions, the following was discussed:


·  The Leeds Climate Commission had identified two main areas which were buildings and transport.  There was a challenge to reduce people’s reliance on cars and generate the infrastructure for public transport.  There was a need to promote active travel and a desire to create twenty minute neighbourhoods where main facilities could be accessed within a ten minute walk.

·  Government policy from 2025 would prevent new homes from having gas boilers.  New council properties were already hydrogen compatible.

·  Policy G4A: Green space improvement and new green space provision – the new proposals would clarify requirements for on and off site provision.

·  Leeds City Station – access and connectivity to other sites around the city.

·  Responses received to the consultation to date had been very positive including those from the development industry.

·  It would not be able to make all neighbourhoods a twenty minute neighbourhoods.  Many aspects were out of the control of planners such as location of shops and GP surgeries but the best places to identify future growth could be identified where new development was planned.

·  Development of the White Rose forest including connectivity and regeneration of footpaths and other facilities.

·  Health providers were consulted as part of the planning process including the development plan and planning applications.

·  Transport – there was a strategic approach to try and encourage development in areas where there were public transport links.  More effective consultation with developers was required with regards to public transport contributions.


RESOLVED – That the report and discussion be noted.






Connecting Leeds Transport Strategy Annual Report

To receive an update from the Director of City Development on the progress of the Connecting Leeds Transport Strategy and associated Action Plan 2021-2024.


Report to follow.


This item was withdrawn prior to the meeting.




Work Schedule pdf icon PDF 419 KB

To consider the Scrutiny Board’s work schedule for the 2022/23 municipal year.


Additional documents:


The report of the Head of Democratic Services presented the Board’s Work Schedule for the remainder of the 2022/23 Municipal Year.


RESOLVED – That the report and work schedule be noted.




Date and Time of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Scrutiny Board will take place on 11 January 2023 at 10.30am. There will be a pre-meeting for members of the Scrutiny Board at 10.15am.


Wednesday, 1 January 2023 at 10.30 a.m.  Pre-meeting for all Board Members at 10.15 a.m.