Agenda item

Site Allocations Plan - Publication Draft

To consider a report of the Chief Planning Officer on the proposed Site Allocations Publication Draft Plan


(report and appendices attached)




Development Plan Panel (DPP) considered a report by the Chief Planning Officer on the Publication Draft of the Site Allocations Plan.


On 11th February 2015, the Executive Board agreed the proposed site allocations for the Site Allocations Plan (SAP) and the Aire Valley Leeds Area Action Plan (AVLAAP) as a basis to prepare draft Publications Plans. The report now before DPP presented the Housing section of the SAP Publication Draft Plan, including site phasing (and safeguarded land); sites suitable for Independent Living; sites for Gypsies Travellers and Travelling Show people, consistent with the overall requirements of the Core Strategy and the scope of the Plan.


The report identified the changes made to the SAP since consideration of the proposed allocations at Executive Board on 11th February. These were as a consequence of further technical work; additional information being received; and updates to information on sites with planning permission.


Attached to the report were the following documents:

  • the full Publication Draft Plan (including sections on Retail, Employment (with the exception of land at LBIA, which was considered just prior to this report) and Green space. These documents were, previously discussed at Development Plan Panel on 16th June and were included for information in order for Members to see the Housing proposals within the wider context of the Plan
  • the draft Sustainability Appraisal (SA) of Policies and site assessments,
  • accompanying relevant Plans. 


The Sustainability Appraisal was also attached to the report.


It was noted that, due to timescales involved, the report did not include all changes to the sites discussed at the meeting held on 16th June. Any changes agreed by DPP on 16th June and at this meeting would be included in the report to be presented to the July Executive Board for consideration.


In presenting the report; Mr D Feeney, Head of Planning Policy (Forward Planning and Implementation) clarified that further technical work had been undertaken in respect of a number of late site submissions reported to Executive Board in February. These sites had undergone technical assessments and were considered to be unsuitable.


L Pickering, Forward Planning & Sustainable Development Team, provided a summary of the key areas set out in the covering report.


Phasing - In respect of the phasing of individual sites, the schedule at Table 1 of the report listed those sites where the proposed phase had been amended – taking into account highway infrastructure, the spread of an individual settlement across the three phases or its ability to be developed at any time. Two sites contained in Table 1, namely HG 2-49 land off Weetwood Lane, Headingley and 2-167 land off Old Thorpe Lane, Tingley had been included in error and therefore it was proposed that they remained in phase 2 and phase 3 respectively. 

School Use – Two sites (HG5-1 and HG5-7) which lay within Green Belt were proposed

Safeguarded land – Extensions had been made to the sites at HG3-1 (Ings Lane, Guiseley) and HG3-2 (Land east of Park Mills, Rawdon), to ensure they were not vulnerable to future planning applications.


Following on, officers referred to Appendix 1 of the report in respect of Housing Market Characteristic Areas and headlined the main changes and key matters in respect of the individual locations.


Member’s comments gave rise to the following discussions:


School Use – One Member reported that a Plans Panel had previously suggested HG3-24 as a suitable site for secondary provision. Officers confirmed that the site was earmarked for primary provision and reported that the 2 secondary schools in the area did have some capacity for expansion. Officers acknowledged the number of residential development proposals coming forward; suggesting that one of the two sites designated (HG5-1 and HG5-7) would need to be developed in the future. The challenges in predicting areas of education need, finding suitable sites and the process involved in school development were reiterated 


Planning applications - One Member raised concern that some of the suggested site allocations were contrary to decisions made by Plans Panels, citing HG2-29 (development rejected by City Plans Panel due to access concerns, but now included with an amended boundary proposed to address access issues) and HG2-18 (development rejected by Plans Panel due to access being via the Green Belt, but now included with an amended boundary to allow highway access). Officers acknowledged that the approach proposed through the draft Site Allocations Plan differed from the existing approach adhered to when dealing with planning applications.


Delivery – Commented that although a large area of land was being allocated, the authority only anticipated a certain number of units would be delivered during the lifetime of the SAP – and this need to be made clear in the documents


Employment Use - One Member sought to raise a mater relating to the employment allocations previously considered by DPP at their meeting on 16 June 2015. Members received further legal advice in respect of the scope of the matters before them today, and that with the exception of the late item on employment uses at LBIA, the DPP had previously resolved to recommend to Executive Board that the Employment Sections of the SAP be agreed for public consultation


(Councillor Walshaw re-joined the meeting at this point)


Suggested capacity – Site MX2-2 was discussed, noting that a current application sought approval for 36 units, although the HMCA schedule indicated a capacity of 15 units. Officers responded that the figures related to notional capacities and that sites may not be developed to that figure


Boundaries and designation – In respect of employment allocations in Otley, one Member raised concern about ensuring a robust form of words was used to protect employment sites from being used for residential housing in the future. Officers provided advice that planning permissions were site specific and that legal advice was that the SAP could not include site requirements for adjacent sites not subject to allocation.

Sites HG 2-2 and HG2-3 (HMCA Aireborough) were discussed, noting that the boundaries for both sites had now been amended to include a piece of land which had been deleted previously.


Officers moved on to present the proposals in respect of allocations for sites for Gyspy and Travellers and Travelling Showpeople, referring to the Leeds Core Strategy which had set a requirement to identify 62 pitches. Allocating sites was seen as necessary to provide certainty to the Gyspy and Travelling community and also to local residents. Sites had been identified, and the following comments during consultation undertaken so far were noted:


HG6-12 – local ward councillors maintained their objection to the site as the individual had now settled there. However GATE confirmed that the individual retained “traveller” status and that he had participated in the discussions


HG6-2 Kidacre Street – this site had the potential to provide more pitches, and the narrative of the policy would be amended prior to submission to Executive Board in order that it reads “4 more” (not ‘3 more’ as currently)


HG7-2 – local ward councillors did not support this site. It was noted that there would not be a net increase in the total number of pitches throughout the ward (which is home to the Cottingley Springs site)


Officers highlighted the list of discounted sites and the reasons for their rejection included at Appendix 1 of the report


In discussions on this issue, Members raised the following:

  • Acknowledged the work undertaken throughout the consideration process of site selection
  • The structure of the list of 62 sites identified and concern that these must be sites identified since 1st April 2012
  • Noted that the task had revealed small private sites already in existence which officers had previously not been aware of
  • Noted that Transit sites were necessary and to be available at all times Concern that some sites identified in the Green belt, such as HG7-1 – would not gain approval from the Inspectorate
  • Concern that there would still be a shortfall of pitches, even if all those before DPP now and due to be considered by Executive Board were approved
  • Concern that issues of sustainability and safety should be included within the criteria for pitches, just as they would be for other residential allocations
  • Concern over the suitability of the identified Ardsley site
  • Whether the Wortley site had ever been considered for residential use and the relevant decision


(Councillor Procter left the meeting at this point)


(Councillor Anderson withdrew from the meeting for a short while at this point)


  • Health and safety and suitability comments in respect of the HG7-2 site. It was reported that the site sat on top of a main drainage pipe to Armley, with access being difficult as the site was adjacent to the ring road, plus the site was previously deemed as contaminated land


The Chair noted that some opposition Members had chosen to reserve their position in respect of the matters under consideration

RESOLVED – That, having considered the SAP Publication Draft Plan sections in relation to Housing: including site phasing (and safeguarded land), sites suitable for Independent Living and sites for Gypsies Travellers and Travelling Showpeople, the Development Plan Panel recommend to the Executive Board, that the Plan is agreed for Publication consultation.



Supporting documents: