WARD chairman, David Ingham, was invited to the Annual General Meeting of Horsforth Civic Society (HCS) on 8th May, to give a presentation on WARD and local planning issues. His main message was the need for local communities to contribute to the local development plan for Leeds and Bradford, by becoming involved in the design of Neighbourhood Development Plans (NDPs). “This”, he said “was the only positive way to really influence local planning decisions”.
If an area had a Parish Council, they would probably do the neighbourhood plan, but if, like Guiseley, Rawdon and Yeadon, parish council’s didn’t exist then Neighbourhood Forum (NF) would be needed, otherwise whole areas would be disenfranchised .
David stated that, WARD has already been cleared to act as the major instigator to form an NF for the old area of Aireborough. He and WARD marketing officer, Jennifer Kirkby, had already had meetings with the Chief Planning Officer for Leeds and with the team leaders responsible for forward planning and implementation. He told the meeting that a Neighbourhood Forum was unnecessary in Horsforth as they were fortunate enough to possess a Town Council which was legally entitled to submit a Neighbourhood Plan for the Horsforth area.
In a question and answer session HCS members expressed concern that current planning legislation was heavily weighted in favour of the developers. There was general dismay that the Localism Bill and NPPF had not only failed to give communities a third party right of appeal against unsustainable developments, but that there was no precise definition of sustainability in the new NPPF documents glossary.
There was general agreement that WARD was fulfilling a necessary role in building a campaigning network to protect local communities. The HFC committee, in recognition of the role of WARD, made a donation of £50 to WARD’s funding at the end of the meeting.