UPDATE FROM WAAG
With Secretary of State Robert Jenrick’s rejection of a call-in for planning application 17/08262, we must expect Leeds Council to issue the approval notice imminently, though with over a month having passed since that rejection one wonders why that hasn’t happened already. WAAG is of course furious that the community has been ignored. Rather than vent its wrath here, however, there are some positive things that can be done, even though they amount to damage limitation.
- City Plans Panel wanted our community to be given the chance to contribute to plan preparation. Developers will be starting to prepare their detailed proposals. We don’t know if there will be one planning application for “reserved matters” on all of the 17/08262 outline area or applications for each of the four land “parcels”. Almost everything on 17/08262 was illustrative and so not approved. There is a chance to influence designers. They won’t be obliged to take account of what the community wants but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. WAAG will ask to see any proposals put to the Council at pre-application stage and, despite awkward feelings, WAAG proposes to contact the developers and tell them what our community wants. How will we know this? WAAG can’t have public meetings these days but can collate positive suggestions on social media or sent to our email address:email@example.com. Suggestions can’t expect to get the developable area reduced or change the access points (expect these to be already approved in 17/08262). We’re doing a brief focussing on Haigh Wood and green aspects of the development and will post this here in a day or two.
- There will be pages and pages of conditions, and the Section 106 agreement and the Community Infrastructure Levy, all of which will probably be the much the same as set out prior to the 21 May City Plans Panel meeting. There will be more on the reserved matters applications too. It’s LCC’s job to ensure these are complied with – though there won’t be much staff resources put into this unless discrepancies are brought to LCC’s attention by, for example, us.
- WAAG will ask the Council for copies of all the key documents and that all objectors to the outline plan be informed of every reserved matters application.
- WAAG has considered using judicial review to challenge the legality of the 21 May City Plans Panel at which objectors were excluded. It would be seriously expensive and even if we won it would only require that the decision be freshly taken. This would not in itself change the planning merits/issues, so we would expect City Plans Panel to vote for approval again.
- WAAG is keeping an eye on the very radical proposed government changes to the planning system. It’s very likely that these will much too late to affect the Haigh Wood proposals, though the theme at this initial stage seems to be to enable building to go ahead with fewer safeguards.
- It may be worth considering whether it would be good for West Ardsley to be included in the Morley Town Council area. Developers across Leeds currently have to pay the Community Infrastructure Levy on every house approved (though the government’s proposed planning changes could scrap this). 15% of the CIL can be earmarked for local parish or town council areas if they cover where new houses are approved. If not then all the CIL goes into a general Leeds wide pot and West Ardsley would probably see none of it.
Thank you for reading.