Leeds HMO Lobby


Leeds HMO Lobby

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Leeds HMO Lobby



Representation on
Area Delivery Plan 2008-2011

01 Problems in Inner NW Leeds The problems of Inner NW Leeds in general, and of the neighbourhoods in & around Headingley in particular, are unique in the UK. The recent report by Sheffield University, Changing UK: the way we live now (December 2008), identified five 'tracts' where 'anomie' (loss of community cohesion) scored 70% or more on the report's index.* Four of these were in (capital) city centres, Edinburgh Holyrood, London Hyde Park, Cardiff Cathays and Glasgow University. Only one, Leeds Headingley, was a suburb, which in fact recorded the second highest score. The causes are well-known locally: first, the Area is demographically unbalanced (polarisation is always socially detrimental), and secondly, the imbalance is towards a demographic which is (a) young, (b) transient and (c) seasonal. The Sheffield report showed that half the population were in their twenties (and 40% aged 20-24), and that 44% lived in the private rented sector (43% had been in the area for less than a year); and since this population comprises students primarily, most are here for only some thirty weeks in the year (as will be confirmed by local retailers). The consequences are experienced by all who live locally, affecting all aspects of life, social, environmental and economic.

02 Solutions in Inner NW Leeds The particular problems of the Area require particular solutions. Some of these have been delivered piecemeal. When the UDP was recently revised, an Area of Housing Mix and dedicated policies were introduced. The current Leeds Housing Strategy is considering a dedicated Housing Strategy for the Area of Housing Mix. Local residents have initiated Headingley Renaissance (for Central Headingley) and Neighbourhood Design Statements for Far Headingley, Headingley itself and Little Woodhouse. In & around Central Headingley, Inner NW Area Committee (INWAC) has introduced a Cumulative Impact Policy, a Designated Public Places Order, a Flyer Control Zone and a Direction on Letting Boards. But behind many of these initiatives lies the Shared Housing Action Plan (SHAP): this was introduced in 2001 by the Council's Student (now Shared) Housing Group, to address the Area's problems, and radically reviewed in 2006. It now comprises 26 Actions; of these, fourteen are the sole or partial responsibility of Area Management.

03 Delivery in Inner NW Leeds Given the unique problems of the Area, the range of policy solutions introduced, and the responsibility of Area Management for delivering many of these - it seems extraordinary to local residents that these problems, solutions and responsibilities appear to be almost entirely overlooked by the current Area Delivery Plan (ADP). An uninformed reader would find no clue to the Area's problems. Indeed, only two actions in the ADP respond to (one of) the Actions in SHAP. Leeds HMO Lobby (an association of all the local community associations in the Area of Housing Mix, representing these local residents) recommends that all the relevant Actions in SHAP should be embedded in the ADP.

04 INWAC ADP 08-11
The Area Delivery Plan for Inner NW Leeds is based on the Leeds Strategic Plan. This centralised framework mitigates against a customised local Plan. For instance, the city Plan comprises eight Themes: an immediate problem is that none of these Themes is directly concerned with the Area's root problem, its population profile. A second problem is that each Theme incorporates Strategic Outcomes: since these have been centrally set, they are often inappropriate to local challenges. But it should not be beyond the wit of members and officers to accommodate SHAP within the ADP - especially as three key Actions were included in the previous ADP.

05 Theme A, Culture, is the probable home for the following SHAP Action.
SHAP08 Develop plans to promote the regeneration of the Area of Housing Mix: Consideration and evaluation of the Leeds Left Bank proposal (Agency: Area Management). This Action is based on the conceit that the Inner NW Area is Leeds' equivalent of Paris' Left Bank/Latin Quarter/Rive Gauche. See Note, para 15 below.

06 Theme B, Enterprise & Economy, is the obvious home for the following SHAP Actions.
SHAP18 Promote a sustainable and balanced economy to ensure the long term vitality and viability of Headingley town centre and the surrounding area (Planning Group)
SHAP19 Improve the range of outlets and the visual character of shopping areas within the Area of Housing Mix (Area Management)
SHAP26 Monitor economic impacts in Inner North West including annual reports on local economy, and on local Cumulative Impact Policy (Community Planning Officer)

07 Theme C, Learning. No SHAP Actions, as described, are immediately relevant to this Theme. But the absence of any reference to the Higher Education Institutions which dominate Inner NW Leeds is surprising. However, elements of SHAP08 are relevant (see Note, para 15).

08 Theme D, Transport, is the obvious home for the following SHAP Action.
SHAP16 Pursue implementation of Residential Parking Zones in areas which will benefit from such actions (Transport Group)

09 Theme E, Environment, is the obvious home for the following SHAP Actions.
SHAP10 Manage student arrivals and departures (Area Management: Students & Community Group): this Action is in fact implemented in ADP E4 and E10.
SHAP14 Review and improve cleansing practices in the Area of Housing Mix (Area Management)
SHAP25 Monitor environmental impacts in the neighbourhoods within the Area of Housing Mix (Area Management)

10 Theme F, Health & Wellbeing. No SHAP Actions, as described, are immediately relevant to this Theme. However, rodent infestation in Inner NW Leeds is five or six times the norm for the city, doubtless in consequence of waste disposal problems (SHAP14), and this represents a threat to public health.

11 Theme G, Thriving Communities, is the obvious home for the following SHAP Actions.
SHAP05 Develop and monitor a Housing Strategy for the Area of Housing Mix (Area Management: Housing Strategy Group). See Note, para 13 below.
SHAP24 Monitor social impacts in the neighbourhoods within the Area of Housing Mix including crime, antisocial behaviour, and noise nuisance (Area Management)
Also relevant is preparation for SHAP21 Pursue HMO Licensing in the Area of Housing Mix (Housing Strategy Group), with specific reference to Additional HMO Licensing.

12 Theme H, Stronger Communities, is the obvious home for the following SHAP Actions.
SHAP03 Pursue Policy H15 of the Unitary Development Plan (Planning Group)
SHAP04 Maintain appointment of Community Planning Officer (Area Management)
SHAP06 Develop an Inner NW Area Action Plan within the Local Development Framework (Planning Group). See Note, para 14 below.
SHAP09 Support where possible the implementation of Headingley Renaissance (Area Management)

13 Housing Strategy (SHAP05) A Housing Strategy for the Area of Housing Mix was first proposed by Leeds HMO Lobby in February 2007, and presented to Area Committee on 8 February 2007. It was included in the local ADP for 2007-2008, as PD2 Housing Development of a Housing Strategy for the area. The proposal was included in the revision of SHAP in 2008. A Strategy has in fact been prepared under the auspices of INWAC's Housing Strategy Group, by the Strategy & Intelligence Director of re'new, on secondment to HDT. It was presented to INWAC on 5 February 2009, which accepted it as the basis for a final inner north west strategy, as part of the new Leeds Housing Strategy. Discussion on the Strategy is on-going.

14 Area Action Plan (SHAP06) An Area Action Plan for Inner NW Leeds (as part of the Local Development Framework) was first proposed by Leeds HMO Lobby in June 2005, and presented to INWAC Planning Group on 7 June 2005. It was included in SHAP2, the major review of SHAP in 2006. It was included in the local ADP for 2007-2008, as PD5 Area Action Plan Undertake preliminary work on creation of an Area Action Plan.

15 Leeds Left Bank (SHAP08) A proposal for Leeds Left Bank was first adopted by Leeds HMO Lobby in November 2004, and presented to Area Committee on 9 December 2004. It was included in SHAP2 in 2006, and was included in the local ADP for 2007-2008, as PD3 Area Vision Creation of an area vision, outlining aspirations for the area, Develop an action plan to achieve the vision. The proposal is to use the conceit of 'Leeds Left Bank' as a re-branding of the Area, for the purpose of cultural, social, environmental and economic regeneration.

* Social & Spatial Inequalities Research Group, Changing UK: the way we live now, Department of Geography, University of Sheffield (December 2008). The survey is based on 'tracts', and that named 'Leeds Headingley' in fact corresponds with the southern half of the Leeds NW constituency, or effectively, most of Inner NW Leeds. Changing UK is available online at http://sasi.group.shef.ac.uk/research/changingUK.html; for data on the tracts, follow the link to 'Data at lower geographical levels.' The BBC report is available at http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/uk/7755641.stm

Leeds HMO Lobby, 27 April 2009


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