The acting steering group of the Aireborough Neighbourhood Forum (ANF), have announced that the ANF is now officially designated under the Localism Act 2011 to draw up a neighbourhood development plan (NDP) for the Aireborough area – Guiseley, Yeadon, Hawksworth and High Royds. The ANF is one of around 30 areas of Leeds to have the responsibility to help local people shape the place they live.
What does that mean in reality?
The purpose of the ANF is to support the regeneration and sustainable development of the Aireborough Neighbourhood area – economically, socially, culturally and environmentally.
- The ANF will evidence the issues and opportunities Aireborough faces, and draw up a master plan for a thriving 21st century place to live and work. The aim is to address current overdevelopment and resist becoming a suburban dormitory.
- Major issues to tackle through the plan include congestion, overcrowded schools and medical facilities, green space, deterioration of community facilities, loss of heritage in design and outlook, and a lack of quality business premises.
- Leeds’ Development Plan has indicated that Aireborough should be building 2,300 more houses between 2012 and 2028. The ANF is evidencing what is actually needed and what is and is not sustainable: representing these facts back to LCC and the Government.
- The Neighbourhood Forum will be able to grant planning permission for certain kinds of development under Neighbourhood Development Orders and Community Right to Build Orders. Eg sheltered housing, children’s playgrounds and community centres.
- Community assets will be listed and if they are put up for sale, the Forum can apply for a right to bid on them coming into community ownership.
- Once there is a neighbourhood plan the ANF will receive 25% of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) from any future development to be spent on local priorities. Areas with no neighbourhood plan only receive 15% of the CIL.
- The ANF will be able to apply for grants for community projects to improve the local area eg town centres, or community parks.
- The Forum will represent the area, alongside local Councillors, to the Council, Government and stakeholders.
The Forum is not a Town Council, but is a pioneering new way for a whole community to come together and develop a shared vision for the future of their area and how best to shape holistic development and growth. Major differences from a Town Council include:
- A Forum is non-party political and open to all who live work or do business in an area
- Its focus is planning
- Funding comes through money raised from sources such as grants, sponsorship and revenue, plus organized voluntary effort; rather than through the levy of a Parish precept
- City Councillors can be members of a forum
However, like a town council, once the neighbourhood plan is drawn up and has passed inspection for conformity with the National Planning Policy Framework and the Leeds Development Plan, it goes to a local referendum: where, if it gets a majority vote, it will be officially adopted and used to determine planning applications and how the area develops.
In essence, local people in Aireborough now have a slightly louder voice, and a little more influence than before. How loud we can make that voice and how big the influence depends on how many people come together to work on the plan.
More details about Neighbourhood Forums, Neighbourhood Planning, and the ANF can be found on aireboroughnf.com, and you can also sign up to the ANF Facebook page Aireborough Voice, or Twitter account @aireboroughnf.
The first AGM for ANF members will be held at 2pm, 27th September 2014, Guiseley Methodist Church – more details to follow.