Leeds HMO Lobby


Leeds HMO Lobby

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Leeds HMO Lobby


Representation on
Pre-Application Consultation with Communities

1 Leeds HMO Lobby is an association of a dozen local community associations in & around Headingley in Leeds, all those in fact within the Area of Housing Mix, designated in Leeds Unitary Development Plan (Revised 2006). The Area was designated in order to address the imbalance in the neighbourhoods covered, as a result of lack of control of local housing development, specifically houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). The Lobby is well aware of the need for local development control. For further information, visit our website.

2 The Lobby therefore welcomes the neighbourhood-focused emphasis of the Government's planning reforms which give people a stronger role in planning and development. In particular, the Lobby welcomes the proposed requirement in the new Localism Bill for developers to consult with local communities prior to submitting some planning applications. Further, the Lobby welcomes the Government's invitation to make suggestions on what developments should be subject to this provision. The Lobby takes the opportunity to make a number of points.

3 First of all, the Lobby considers that applying this measure to large-scale major applications only is far too restricted (these include developments of 200 or more residential units and 10,000 square metres or more of non-residential development). Much smaller developments can have a profound impact on the character and/or amenity of a neighbourhood. Design and/or usage which is inappropriate to the neighbourhood can be deeply detrimental, such as over-intensive developments (on both counts). With this in mind, residents in Headingley pioneered the concept of Neighbourhood Design Statements (NDSs), based on Village Design Statements (for instance, in Far Headingley in 2005 as Supplementary Planning Guidance). More recently, last year Leeds adopted a NDS for central Headingley, which we believe to be the first community-based Supplementary Planning Document (certainly in Leeds, probably nationally). We are anxious that pre-application consultation with local communities should enable neighbourhoods to maintain their cohesion and sustainability.

4 Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) already operate thresholds for charging for pre-application advice for developers. In Leeds, the Council charges for pre-application advice on residential proposals of 10 houses or more or on a site greater than 0.5 hectares, and on non-residential proposals creating more than 1,000 square metres of floorspace or on a site greater than 1 hectare. We understand that other LPAs employ similar thresholds for such advice.

5 Leeds HMO Lobby therefore recommends that all developments within a local authority which would attract a charge for pre-application advice by the LPA should be required to consult with local communities prior to submitting planning applications. In the spirit of localism, the Lobby suggests that the threshold should be determined by the LPA - in consultation of course with local communities.

Dr Richard Tyler, Co-ordinator, Leeds HMO Lobby, March 2011


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