Agenda and minutes

Development Plan Panel - Tuesday, 18th July, 2023 1.30 pm

Venue: Civic Hall, Leeds, LS1 1UR. View directions

Contact: Toby Russell, 0113 3786980 

Link: to view the meeting

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors C Campbell, A Carter and R Finnigan.


Prior to the commencement of the meeting Councillors H Hayden, J Akhtar and C Gruen indicated they may be late to the meeting. As Councillor C Gruen was the nominated Chair, Councillor H Bithell’s nomination to the Chair was agreed for the start of the meeting.



Appeals Against Refusal of Inspection of Documents

To consider any appeals in accordance with Procedure Rule 15.2 of the Access to Information Rules (in the event of an Appeal the press and public will be excluded)


(*In accordance with Procedure Rule 15.2, written notice of an appeal must be received by the Head of Governance Services at least 24 hours before the meeting)


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:



Late Items

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


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



Declaration of Interests

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



Minutes of the Previous Meeting - 4th of April 2023 pdf icon PDF 237 KB

To receive and consider the attached minutes of the previous meeting held 4th April 2023.



RESOLVED- That the minutes of the Development Plan Panel meeting held on the 4th of April 2023 be approved as an accurate record.



Biodiversity and Nature Recovery Update pdf icon PDF 358 KB

To receive and consider the attached report of the Chief Planning Officer which provides an update about emerging new and revised approaches to protecting and enhancing biodiversity in Leeds.



The report of the Chief Planning Officer provided an update about emerging, new and revised approaches to protecting and enhancing biodiversity in Leeds.


The Head of Strategic Planning presented the report, providing Members with the following information:

·  The report had been brought before Panel Members due to a changed national response to the bio-diversity crisis and the mandatory requirement of The Environment Act 2021 for the introduction of Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) by November 2023.

·  BNG required a 10% net gain improvement on land, at time of receipt of an application, so developments left habitats in a better state for wildlife than before.

·  As part of The Environment Act 2021, Local Nature Recovery Strategies (LNRS) had been enacted, with the process started in West Yorkshire.

·  Paragraphs 1 to 5 of the report detailed the importance of biodiversity and its protection in supporting eco-systems and humans, alongside the impact of climate change. The importance of understanding the need to recover biodiversity was outlined.

·  Paragraph 6 of the report detailed the Government’s 25-year plan and response to restore lost biodiversity and supporting the future natural world.

·  Paragraph 7 outlined planning policy in aid of conserving biodiversity, referencing policy G8, protection of important habitats and species and policy G9, biodiversity improvements. The Environment Act 2021 was noted to go further than any current policy, stating biodiversity net gain should be a 10% proportionate increase for a given development site.

·  Paragraph 8 noted emerging Local Plan Update (LPU) policies which had themes of biodiversity, particularly green and blue infrastructure policy, with the intention to strengthen these polices alongside changes being applied to the biodiversity agenda.

·  Paragraphs 9 to 11 set out existing work related to biodiversity protection and enhancement, including the Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP), management of important sites, including the 14 nature reserves within the Leeds District and the Net Zero challenge and associated tree planting.

·  The impact of BNG was noted to have two key effects, firstly, the impact of technical scrutiny that biodiversity will receive through the planning system and secondly, the opportunity for the Council to act as a broker with the purchase and sale of biodiversity units for developers to fulfill policy obligations.

·  The Environment Act 2021 had set out a system for habitat banks, where the impact of development will be calculated and then it will be determined whether BGN can be achieved on or off site. If off site units can be sold and funds, then spent on appropriate enhancement projects.

·  Paragraphs 13 to 36 and appendix 1 set out how the BNG unit system will work, with paragraph 17 detailing specifics for the Leeds district and the strategic planning systems approach and engagement with West Yorkshire partners, including the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) to develop a best delivery model.

·  The delivery model included a match making map, so developers will be able to research appropriate sites for biodiversity enhancement. The planning application stage will include a Government metric to determine what units can be used  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Date and Time of Next Meeting

To note the date and time of the next meeting as 26th September 2023 at 1.30pm.



RESOLVED – To note the date and time of the next meeting as 26th September 2023 at 1.30pm. (it was noted that this date was to be reviewed during the meeting)