Leeds City Council proposes planning shake-up
A SHAKE-UP in the way Leeds City Council deals with proposals for big infrastructure projects and key housing schemes is being planned.
Over the next 15 years the population of Leeds is forecast to grow by over 100,000 to just over 859,000 and it has been estimated that 70,000 new homes will be needed.
Major schemes, including an electricity-generating incinerator and expansion of the Thorpe Park office development, are also in the pipeline.
The council is proposing to establish a new strategic plans panel that will deal with applications for large housing developments and infrastructure projects. All political groups will be represented on the new panel, which will hear representation from communities affected by the applications.
A cross party working group, formed to examine the planning process, suggested that the council needed to be able to make timely and effective decisions while ensuring a local involvement.
The proposal to set up the panel will be debated at a council meeting on September 12.
Coun Keith Wakefield, council leader, said: “We are at the threshold of introducing a new 15 year planning core strategy, which has the ability to transform this city.
“We need to ensure the changes are for the better. We need to invest in major new transport infrastructure, bring decent and affordable homes to people and generate jobs and long term employment opportunities through this process.
“We intend to balance the sense of strategic vision with the need to give a real voice of localism to people in this city.”
Coun Peter Gruen, executive member for planning, said: “We know that for us to meet our ambitions we need to have a planning decision-making framework, which balances the need for timely decisions and good business relationships with developers with the absolute guarantee that ward members and communities have in-depth involvement.
“We need to generate confidence on both sides, the investing in Leeds is worthwhile and that we will also pay huge regard to community identities and address their fears and anxieties.”
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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