Agenda item

Local Plan Update: Towards a Publication Draft

To receive the report of the Chief Planning Officer provides an update on the Local Plan Update (LPU) and sets out the next steps as the plan moves towards a Publication draft. The report therefore includes four elements: 1) Appendix 1 is a Report of Consultation providing a final analysis of the statutory (Regulation 18) consultation which took place over the summer of 2021. 2) A discussion within the report on agreeing the final scope for the Local Plan Update. 3) An introduction to the rationale for assessing policy options and reasonable alternatives for their sustainability, 4) A headline review of the Government’s ‘Net Zero Strategy: Build Back Greener’ and its implications for the Local Plan Update.



Further to the minutes of the Development Plan Panel meeting held 2nd November 2021, the report of the Chief Planning Officer provided an update on the Local Plan Update (LPU) and set out the next steps as the plan moves towards a Publication draft. The submitted report included four elements:

·  Appendix 1 is a Report of Consultation providing a final analysis of the statutory (Regulation 18) consultation.

·  A discussion within the report on agreeing the final scope for the LPU.

·  An introduction to the rationale for assessing policy options and reasonable alternatives for their sustainability.

·  A headline review of the Government’s ‘Net Zero Strategy: Build Back Greener’ and its implications for the LPU.


The Group Manager (Policy and Plans) introduced the report and provided the Panel with a PowerPoint presentation on key headlines of the submitted report and summarised comments received as part of Regulation 18 consultation in relation to the scope of the Plan and whether such comments require that the initial scope is altered. Further to consultation comments, a revised scope is proposed and seeks to amplify biodiversity and blue infrastructure and will include soil related issues in the Plan, with recognition that some topics will have an impact on historic environment.


In responding to the proposed final scope, Panel Members commented on the following issues:

·  The impact of housing requirement and spatial distribution on climate change.

·  The need to invest in local infrastructure and in particular, inner city and city centre locations.

·  Long term public transport aspirations.

·  Connecting all localities to nearby facilities.

·  The importance of ensuring that the “Ecological Emergency” should be added to the scope.

·  Although it was acknowledged that Electric Vehicle Charging is ‘too specific’ to be named as part of the scope, it was of the view that there wasn’t enough expertise and understanding of the requirements to enable people to use electric vehicles on a permanent basis. A member suggested that planning applications should seek to incorporate electric charging points as part of large home extensions.


Further to Panel Members comments, officers confirmed that the “Ecological Emergency” will be incorporated into the scope of the Plan, and additional thought on electric vehicle charging will be considered, particularly in relation to charging points.


As part of the PowerPoint presentation, Panel Members were provided with some context on the consideration of policy options and the emerging headline options, as well as additional policy options (as set out in the table below) in relation to the five broad topic areas.



Policy Options

Carbon Reduction


·  New developments to measure carbon emissions across the whole life-cycle of a building

·  Sustainable construction standards for new buildings

·  Promote renewable and low carbon energy to meet carbon neutral aspirations

Whole life cycle-carbon assessments

·  Only require applications to consider the whole life cycle carbon of a development

·  Require assessments to be submitted until 2026 but after that date require development to meet a set of benchmarks to achieve zero carbon across the whole carbon life cycle of the development

·  Required to meet an existing methodology/benchmark

·  Do not introduce new policy and rely on national guidance and other policies

·  Submitted for all applications or only large/significant schemes

Operational carbon

·  Require net zero carbon buildings for all applications or a gradual improvement over the plan period

·  Rely on national changes to building regulations only

·  Allow carbon offsetting

·  Only apply to certain developments or in certain geographical areas

Sustainable construction standards

·  Require developments to meet a certain nationally prescribed standard or Council creates its own bespoke standards

·  Leave to Future Building Standards and national changes to building regulations

Resilience to heat

·  Adopt policy or rely on change to building regulations

·  Could be covered by construction standards

·  Can be addressed through design, such as green walls/roofs and building placement

Renewable energy

·  Allocate land or new policy that guides development

·  Generate new renewable energy target

·  Would require opportunity area mapping (including energy storage

Flood Risk

Avoiding development in flood risk areas

·  No new policy

·  New policy to restrict development in high flood risk areas

Additional options include:

·  Restricting all developments in high flood risk areas

·  Vary restrictions based on vulnerability of use

·  Restrict accommodation for elderly and disabled people in high flood risk areas

·  Variations based on the Flood Zone categorisation

Managing surface water

·  No new policy

·  New policy to increase the use of SUDS

·  New policy to implement natural flood risk management measures at source locations to manage surface water run off

Additional options include:

·  Requiring all development to incorporate SUDS

·  Indicate the areas where we expect SUDS are most appropriate

·  Apply to just majors or to all developments including minor and householders


·  No new policy

·  Introduce new policy

Additional options include:

·  Requirement to recover quickly after a flood

·  Set standards according to proposed type of development

·  Variations include applying to areas according to current flood zones or also apply to areas that will have flood risk in the future because of climate change

Green Infrastructure


·  Replacement of trees lost

·  Increasing tree cover


·  Net Gain

Green Space

·  City Centre Difference

·  Possible Options with existing policies (G4 & G5)

Food Production

·  Fruit Trees in Gardens


Strategic Place-making

·  No new policy

·  Alter existing policies (SP1; H2; EC1 & T2)

·  New policy addressing 20-minute Neighbourhood

Additional options include:

·  To what detail do we want to detail 20 min NH

·  Inter-relationship to retail policy and Seq.Test/town Centre

·  Inter-relationship with FR locational policy – sequential test approach

·  Inter-relationship with MRT and Connecting Leeds Strategy

·  Inter-relationship with H3 (density) and H4 (Mix)


·  No new policy

·  Alter existing policies (GP5 & P10)

·  New strategic policy on “High Quality, Resilient and Healthy Places

·  New detailed policy(s) on design

Additional options include:

·  Introduction of design codes

·  Introduction of Health Check

·  Inter-relationship with other existing and potentially new policies i.e. Air and Noise; density; mix; carbon reduction; Flood Risk; Green Infrastructure

Sustainable Infrastructure

Leeds Station and HS2

·  No new policy

·  New policy focused on Leeds Station only

·  New policy addressing Leeds Station and strategic rail upgrades

·  Other potential options include directing policy at outlying stations as well as the City Station

Additional options include:

·  Design principles / design requirements for Leeds Station

·  Second southern entrance to Leeds Station

·  Improved integration between Leeds Station and with other transport networks

·  Improvements to Dark Arches and Neville Street

·  Principles expected of any of all new rail lines

·  Planning for new stations and / or improving existing stations

Mass Transit

·  No new policy

·  New policy addressing the development of Mass Transit in Leeds

·  New policy on public transport improvements more generally

Additional options include:

·  Patterns of development

·  Integration of routes into the places it travels through

·  Natural surveillance and safe active travel to / from stops

·  Place-making / design principles for the routes and stops

·  Improvements to biodiversity, green space, green infrastructure, sustainable drainage

·  Other sustainable transport improvements


Next steps include working through the options to arrive at finalised alternatives for March 2022, integrating up to date evidence and other policy areas agreed through the revised scope and then to carry out a Sustainability Appraisal to arrive at sustainable options and effective policies for Summer 2022, including dedicated sessions with Members to go through policies.


Panel Members broadly supported the policy options as outlined in the table above, and in addition, the Panel discussed the following matters:

·  A focus point for policies moving forward to strive towards new development in Leeds being net zero carbon. Further to this clarity was provided on operational 0 carbon and whole life carbon in terms of how it is measured.

·  Reassurance that considerations around blue infrastructure will be ‘just as ambitious’ as green infrastructure considerations.

·  To consider stronger policy areas on tree replacement and carbon capture, including a higher tree replacement ratio.

·  Comments relayed challenges around implementation of 20-minute neighbourhoods in outer and inner-city areas, however, members felt it was important to strive for such initiative across the city and identify workstreams such as comparing best practice and assessing health, density, design and place-making across town and district centres, as well as the possibility to designate centres. It was noted that a workshop on 20-minute neighbourhoods will provide additional clarity on next steps. The Panel also discussed Neighbourhood Planning pilot funding that has been secured to explore how the process of Neighbourhood Planning could be simplified, particularly for the most deprived inner city areas and how this could be used to help explore the concept of 20-minute neighbourhoods in those areas.

·  There was a general consensus that Leeds should lead by example on implementing policies, rather than waiting on national policies.


RECCOMENDED- To note the contents of the report and presentation, as well as members comments during consideration of this item.


Supporting documents: