I feel I must respond to some of the points made in the letter from Lindon Dove (Postbag, February 25).
As the portfolio holder for planning and a member of the City Plans Panel, Mr Dove’s comments do not appear to represent the hard work done by panel members, who sit in a quasi-judicial capacity. If Mr Dove wants to find a culprit for development in Morley he should look no further than central government’s policies, which put having a five-year land supply above all other considerations and have resisted Leeds’ cross-party approaches to have a national brownfield first policy. Mr Dove asks that councillors making decisions are named, which makes me wonder if he has ever checked the council’s website, where the names, addresses and contact details for members of the City Plans Panel are listed? I think I must add that planning reports state clearly the expected impact of development and what mitigation measures are required for any proposed development. Plans Panels can and do make decisions to refuse applications, but this must be based on sound planning reasons, or it could see its decision overturned. Mr Dove says that it is “too late to change” the Local Development Framework. It will therefore come as a surprise to him that the Site Allocation Plan – which every councillor in Leeds has had involvement in creating – has not yet even been written up! We have repeated again and again that further public consultation on site allocations will take place later this year. If Mr Dove would like to see consensus on this issue he could begin by representing the current situation fairly.
Coun Peter Gruen
Deputy Leader, Leeds City Council and Executive MEmber for Neighbourhood,
Planning and Personnel