Core Strategy Selective Review
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Core Strategy Selective Review

Leeds City Council is undertaking a selective review of the Leeds Core Strategy (Adopted Nov 2014), the scope as agreed by Executive Board covers following areas:

• Reviewing the housing requirement in Policy SP6  and extending the plan period to 2033
• Incorporating National Housing Space and Accessibility Standards for new housing
• Incorporating new national practice into policy regarding Code for Sustainable Homes  by  updating the wording for Policies EN1 and EN2
• Updating policy on affordable housing set out in H5.
• Reviewing the requirement for greenspace in new housing developments by amending Policy G4.
 
The first stage of the review involves evidence gathering and public consultation on its scope.  This information will then be taken into account by the Council to prepare a draft plan review (the Publication Draft) for public consultation in winter 2017/18.  There will then be an opportunity for the Plan to be further modified prior to Submission to the Secretary of State and the holding of an examination in public by an independent planning inspector.
 
Scope and Content of the Review 
Reviewing the housing requirement 
Evidence of a need to review the housing requirement comes from the Department of Communities and Local Government’s 2014 household projections released in 2016 which suggest a reduced rate of household growth in Leeds compared with earlier projections.  These projections are a starting point and fu​rther work to understand the effects of economic growth forecasts and other signals is necessary. The Council has commissioned consultants to undertake a Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) to provide this analysis.

Extending the Plan Period to 2033
This is considered necessary because by the time the Core Strategy Review is finalised in 2018, this will be 6 years after the original adoption of the Core Strategy.  It is usual practice to plan for at least a 15 year time horizon, which accords with national planning policy (NPPF Paragraph 47).

Incorporating housing standards for National Space and Accessibility Standards for New Housing
The Council commenced preparation of a Development Plan Document to introduce these national standards in April 2016 as a result of the Housing Standards Review.  Public consultation on the scope and evidence gathering took place during summer 2016. However rather than pursue a separate Development Plan Document for the proposed standards, it is proposed these will now form part of the Core Strategy rather than in a stand-alone plan. 
Evidence for the standards will introduce internal design standards for new houses and apartments. Decisions on planning applications will have to take account of the new standards on:
 i) Minimum size of dwellings ii) accessible housing.
 
Incorporating new national practice into policy regarding Code for Sustainable Homes
This is a formality to bring the wording for implementing Policies EN1 and EN2 into the Core Strategy from a separate document.  This arises from the Government’s withdrawal of the Code for Sustainable Homes in March 2015 which required the Council to create a separate document “Implementation of Core Strategy Policies EN1 and EN2” which is on Leeds City Council’s website.
 
Updating policy on affordable housing
The need to update the affordable housing policy of the Core Strategy will come from the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) which will re-calculate the need for affordable housing.  It is also anticipated that the Housing White Paper will introduce new national policy on “starter homes” which will need to be addressed.  Any proposed policy changes affecting the quantity or affordability of affordable dwellings sought will need to be subject to viability testing.
 
Reviewing the requirement for greenspace in new housing developments
In the process of reviewing the effect of new policy for housing space standards and revised affordable housing policy on viability of housing development it may also be necessary to review the effect on existing greenspace policy.  Any changes to the policy will also need to demonstrate viability testing.
 
Scope and Content Consultation (Regulation 18)
 
This period of consultation commences on Monday 19th June and ends at 5pm, Monday 31st July 2017.
 
You are invited to make representations about what the scope of the review should contain and whether the areas of focus outlined are appropriate or whether you think there are other matters that should to be addressed. It was also an
opportunity to draw to the Council’s attention any evidence that may be of relevance in undertaking the review.
 
A drop-in consultation event was held on Friday 21st July 2017 1:30pm – 6:30pm at the Civic Hall, East Room, Leeds, LS1 1UR.
 
Consultation Documents
 
Please forward queries to: CoreStrategyReview@Leeds.gov.uk
 
Next Steps
Responses received will be taken into account by the Council to prepare a draft plan review (the Publication Draft) for public consultation in winter 2017/18.

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