Leeds HMO Lobby


Leeds HMO Lobby

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Leeds HMO Lobby



Area Action Plan for Inner NW Leeds

1. Planning The Planning & Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, and its accompanying Regulations, introduce local development frameworks, replacing the existing system of local, structure and unitary development plans. This new planning regime offers new opportunities to address some of the problems of Inner NW Leeds.
1.1 Planning Policy Statement 1, Delivering Sustainable Development (2005) outlines key principles, which include sustainable development, a spatial approach, and community involvement. ‘Spatial planning’ goes beyond traditional land use planning to bring together and integrate policies for the development and use of land with other policies and programmes which influence the nature of places and how they can function.
1.2 Planning Policy Statement 12, Local Development Frameworks (2004) sets out the portfolio of local development documents which will comprise the spatial planning strategy for a local planning authority’s area. These include a core strategy, site specific allocations of land, and area action plans (where needed).
1.3 "Area Action Plans should be used to provide the planning framework for areas where significant change or conservation is needed. Among other things, they should protect areas particularly sensitive to change and resolve conflicting objectives in areas subject to development pressures" (PPS12, 2.17).

2 Problems The areas in & around Headingley in Inner NW Leeds are notorious locally and nationally for their imbalance, and hence their unsustainability. Many of their problems may be appropriately addressed by an Area Action Plan. The Companion Guide to PPS12 identifies a number of relevant circumstances.
2.1 Areas that are particularly sensitive to change or development: much of Inner NW is designated a Conservation Area, which has recently been degraded by inappropriate development.
2.2 Areas in multiple ownership subject to particular development pressures, such as town centres; Central Headingley is under considerable pressure in consequence of demographic changes in its hinterland.
2.3 Areas in multiple ownership subject to particular change: the whole of the proposed Area has been subject to massive demand by a very specific sector of the housing market.

3 Plan Leeds HMO Lobby therefore proposes that Leeds’ Local Development Framework includes an Area Action Plan for Inner NW Leeds. The aim of the Area Action Plan is to restore sustainable development to Inner NW Leeds, and its objective is to rectify the key problem, the housing imbalance which has arisen in the Area (thereby undermining the Area’s character, amenity and sustainability). The scope of the Area is that of ASHORE, modified as indicated below (3.1.1), the proposal involves all the communities in this Area, as members of the Lobby. The Action Plan adopts a comprehensive spatial approach, and comprises some or all of the following measures.

3.1 Leeds UDP Review, Policy H15 The Area Action Plan is based on the Area of Student Housing Restraint (ASHORE), introduced in Leeds UDP Review, whose aim is to restrain student housing, the chief driver of housing imbalance. Leeds HMO Lobby proposes the following modifications.
3.1.1 The boundaries are revised (a) in accordance with the consensus agreed at the time of the Public Inquiry in 2004, and detailed in the Lobby’s Position Statement, and (b) in accordance with the recommendations made in the Far Headingley Design Statement of 2005 (3.3.1).
3.1.2 The scope of Policy H15 is revised to refer to restraint of ‘HMOs’ rather than ‘student houses’, as recommended in the Lobby’s Position Statement (‘ASHORE’ would thereby be re-designated ‘AMOR’).

3.2 Headingley Renaissance In order to restore sustainability in the Area, the Action Plan includes the measures concerning Central Headingley detailed in Headingley Renaissance (2005), as designed by the Central Headingley Strategy Group, a sub-group of the Area Committee.

3.3 Neighbourhood Design Statements In order to conserve the character of the Area, the Action Plan includes all Neighbourhood Design Statements adopted within the Area.
3.3.1 Far Headingley, Weetwood & West Park Neighbourhood Design Statement (2005), prepared by Far Headingley Village Society, covers the northern part of the Area, and was adopted as Supplementary Planning Guidance by Leeds in February 2005.
3.3.2 A complementary Neighbourhood Design Statement for Headingley, covering the central part of the Area, is a key proposal of Headingley Renaissance.
3.3.3 In due course, Neighbourhood Design Statements may be developed for other parts of the Area, for instance, Kirkstall, in the west.

3.4 Diversity Zones have been proposed previously by the Lobby (2004), in order to increase diversity of housing provision.
3.4.1 The object of Diversity Zones is to reduce the proportion of HMOs in the Area, by setting a target maximum of HMOs.
3.4.2 Throughout the Area, the normal target is not more than 10% of residential properties in any street are HMOs [the same target has been adopted in Glasgow and Fife]; in some selected zones, the target may be relaxed, while in other zones, the target may be reduced to zero HMOs.
3.4.3 HMO licensing (3.5.1) is one means [there may be others] by which the targets may be achieved. (a) All existing HMOs which qualify will be awarded licences. (b) In accordance with AMOR (3.1.2), no new licences will be awarded. (c) In accordance with Diversity Zone policy, licences will not be renewed where HMOs exceed the target.

3.5 Leeds Housing Strategy can provide a housing policy framework for the restoration of housing balance in the Area.
3.5.1 The Housing Strategy can introduce Additional HMO Licensing throughout the Area; this policy was endorsed in 2005 by the Area Committee.
3.5.2 The Housing Strategy can establish a Special Purpose Vehicle in order to acquire, renovate and let or lease redundant HMOs in the Area.
3.5.3 The Housing Strategy can support a local Community Land Trust for the same purpose; such a Trust has been proposed in the Lobby’s paper Kept in the Community, and is currently being explored by Headingley Network, with the Area Committee’s support.

3.6 Leeds Left Bank In order to raise the profile of the Area, and to attract a wider range of residents, the Action Plan includes the Leeds Left Bank promotion strategy for the Area, proposed by Leeds HMO Lobby. This proposal has been included as Action G2 in the North West District Action Plan.

Leeds HMO Lobby
6 June 2005


Leeds HMO Lobby
email: hmolobby@hotmail.com website: www.hmolobby.org.uk/leeds