Today’s site allocations meeting likely to affect Wetherby and Harewood

Millennium Square and Leeds Civic Hall, Leeds City Centre.
Millennium Square and Leeds Civic Hall, Leeds City Centre.

A meeting to agree the allocation of sites for employment across the Leeds city region is taking place today (Tuesday, January 6, 2015).

Leeds City Council’s (LCC) core strategy for growth up to 2028, including the provision of 70,000 houses and other building works, has been adopted, setting out the scale and distribution of growth.

It is now necessary for sites right across the region to be chosen to accommodate that expansion.

Today’s meeting, at 1.30pm at Leeds Civic Hall, is the first for the development plan panel to discuss the site allocations plan, specifically focusing on employment, green space, and retail growth.

Last month, Wetherby Coun John Procter (Con) told the Wetherby News that one of the proposals highlighted as part of the site allocations process is to scrap the scheme to build up to 2,000 houses on the Thorp Arch Trading Estate in favour of employment growth - a matter likely to be discussed today.

This would mean, however, that the outline proposal from Rockspring Hanover Property Trust would not go ahead if these proposals are agreed, and the housing provision would have to be located elsewhere, such as Headley Fields.

Talking about the proposal, Coun Procter said: “It would be ridiculous to have taken greenbelt land for employment use when there is a recognised brownfield site available.

“And we have worked very hard to stop development being pepper-potted through our villages and to focus on a strategic site.

“That is not to say there will be no further housing development in the Wetherby or Harewood wards, but the overwhelming pressure to deliver 5,000 houses in the plan period is much reduced.

“I am pleased the representations I have made have been recognised. We still await the proposed housing allocations for the north east outer area, but on the information we have this is good news.”

Next week, on January 13, the development plan panel will meet to talk about sites for housing - a particularly contentious issue in the Wetherby and Harewood wards.

The proposals, at this stage, are not being agreed for public consultation, but will be subject to that in summer or autumn 2015.

This will follow the completion of more detailed work on the allocations process and further consideration by the development plan panel of the emerging site allocations plan.