Cllr Ryk Downes

Liberal Democrat Councillor working all year round for Otley & Yeadon Learn more

Local Development Framework Submission

by rykdownes on 13 November, 2015

The deadline for dub,it ting these is Monday 16th November. Here is the submission that Cllr Campbell Cllr Lay and myself have made.
As members for the Otley and Yeadon ward of the City Council we should like to make the following comments on the current LDF Leeds site allocation plan.
We wish to comment on the soundness of the plan.
We believe the plan is unsound for a number of reasons.
The Council have used incorrect population data / demand to assess housing need across the City. We appreciate that there needs to be development but the proposals have led to an over provision of sites in the the LDF. We believe this will allow developers to cherry pick green belt sites which will lead to more development on sites which local and national policy would normally discourage while preventing development on brownfield sites which would conform to national policy.
In the allocation the Council has failed to follow local and national policy with regard to sustainability. 
The Council has failed to follow a consistent approach when assessing sites. For example, former UDP sites were transferred over without any examination of there present suitability or whether they would meet the same criteria as proposed for new sites.
Many of the sites do not meet local/national guidelines and will never be able to do so because the Council has failed to produce a comprehensive series of infrastructure proposals to mitigate the effect of development on the environment and make the sites sustainable.
There are no significant public transport proposals for either Outer North West or Aireborough H.C.As so all development will be car related and this traffic will be funnelled on to the already overcrowded A65 / A660 corridors. Currently standing traffic on these roads is a significant contributor to pollution (and general misery for residents along the route). There are no plans to reduce this so the Council would appear to be failing in its public health role.
Though the Council has identified some sites for employment (which could reduce commuting) it has failed to protect existing employment sites. Given the push to develop brown field sites there will be an incentive for land owners to dispose of existing sites (this has already become a major issue in Aireborough where most of the employment land has been replaced by housing) and could, in Otley produce a net loss of employment land.
The Council has set out aspirations for both affordability and house types within new developments. However it has failed to indicate how these would be achieved. The Council is already failing to meet its existing targets and seems to have no clear view how it can achieve the desired balance.
The Council has failed to properly consult with and failed to involve the community in consultations with neighbouring authorities (there is a duty on them to do so but no member of the public in Outer North West or Aireborough or Members of the Development Plan Panel have been given details of or included in any discussions Leeds officers have had with Bradford/Harrogate Districts).
The Council have failed to meet their own criteria when choosing site with regard to,
Coalescence of settlements,
The proposals HG 2 Wills Gill, HG2 -3 Shaw Lane / Banksfield Mount will link the settlements of Guiseley and Yeadon. The green buffer between the two will be removed and the settlements will be indistinguishable.
Protecting historic landscapes,
Site HG2 will impinge on the historic setting of old Guiseley and will in effect obliterate the historic landscape to the east of the the old village and destroy its setting within the landscape.
Proper consultation – for example site HG2-41 for 777 houses of the A65 and adjacent to the Crag Wood Conservation Area has only become a priority site at the final stages of the SAP discussions. Residents were not encouraged to comment on this site in the earlier stages of the plan it only being included in the SAP at the last minute, (this is also a good example of failure to to deal with the infrastructure implications of a development and its effect on an area of high environmental importance).
In other areas the Council has failed to meet its own criteria particularly with regard to green amenity space.
The Council has identified a shortfall in public green space / sports pitches across the area and the City as a whole. It has however failed to identify how and where this shortfall can be overcome – again contrary to its policy on sustainability and public health.
The Council also appears to have no plan to protect important wildlife habitats again contrary to national policy.
As local Councillors we appreciate that the City Council should have a long term plan to guide development. We appreciate that there needs to be some development but we are concerned that the plan makes no provision for that development to meet local need
There are a number of areas where we support the plan proposals – for example the protection of local shopping centres, however we have grave concerns about the effect that the Council’s proposals and are unable to support the plan as a whole. 
We would urge that it be revised to form a more appropriate framework to move forward the development of Otley, Yeadon and the wider City.

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