Senior councillors in Leeds are to be asked to approve guidelines which will help local communities shape how their own neighbourhoods grow and develop.
Neighbourhood plans are a key part of the Government’s localism agenda, allowing communities to choose where they want homes, shops and offices to be built and have their say on what those buildings should look like.
However, the Government has made it clear that the plans must be “pro-growth” and cannot be used to object to development.
Altogether 35 communities across Leeds have expressed their interest in preparing a neighbourhood plan.
There are already pilot neighbourhood planning schemes going ahead in four parts of Leeds – Boston Spa, Holbeck, Kippax and Otley.
The proposed guidelines advise communities on how to prepare their own neighbourhood plans in accordance with local and national policy – including the National Planning Policy Framework and the Council’s own Core Strategy. They also outline the practical, financial and legal issues communities should bear in mind.
Among 10 “tips for a successful neighbourhood plan” the guidelines
advise communities to consult widely and agree on what the important issues are before putting pen to paper. They should also work closely Leeds City Council who will support and guide them throughout the procedure.
This will include getting information together about the neighbourhood and the people who live in it as well as any existing plans or strategies. The plans should also be clear, achievable and sustainable.
Cllr Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council’s deputy leader and executive member neighbourhoods and planning said:
“It’s very encouraging to see that there has been so much interest in neighbourhood planning from communities across the city and we are looking forward to working closely with them to ensure that their plans are the best they can be.
“ We would like to see area committees working alongside communities and local businesses to create neighbourhoods that are attractive, safe places to live and work and which retain their own distinctive local character .”
Note to editors:
There have been 35 expressions of interest across Leeds in preparing a neighbourhood plan
Leeds City Council has placed advertisements notifying the intention to designate eight neighbourhood areas in Barwick and Scholes; Bardsey; Walton; Thorpe Arch; Aberford and District; Wetherby; Bramham; Linton.
Oulton and Woodlesford, Holbeck and Aireborough are all preparing to be designated neighbourhood forums ad other areas have expressed an interest.
More recently there has been increased interest from areas which don’t have parish councils.
For media enquiries, please contact: Annie Goodyear
Leeds City Council press office, on (0113)2243937.