Representatives from WARD met with Planning Minister Nick Boles today in a frank and open exchange of concerns regarding Core Strategy housing target numbers for Leeds, Bradford and Kirklees. The meeting was attended also by two of the area’s MPs, Stewart Andrew MP for Pudsey and Greg Mulholland MP for Leeds North West. An apology was received from Bradford MP Philip Davies. Guiseley and Rawdon councillors were also in attendance.
WARD chairman David Ingham raised the topics of inflexible housing targets in the LDF Core Strategies, the cumulative effects of excessive development along the A65 corridor and asked when the government intended to keep its promise to revoke the RSS and the five year land supply requirement. The Minister promised to take up the matter of inflexible target numbers but made it clear that local authorities were not having numbers imposed from central government. They were free to decide their own targets but these needed to be based on solid evidence. WARD expressed concern that despite having a lower population increase than Bradford between 2001 and 2011 the LDF target numbers were much greater for Leeds than Bradford. Kirklees on the other hand had managed to reduce their target numbers by 33%. What’s going on in Leeds? We will investigate. Watch this space!