Leeds City Council has been forced to re-examine their housing development masterplan just a few weeks after it was approved by the executive board. This is due to newly published figures which show that the expected population boom will not be as large as the estimates on which the council based its decision. The plans call for the construction of nearly 70,000 new homes across all areas of Leeds by 2028.
Opponents to the masterplan feel that their claims – that the council’s numbers were based on outdated population growth estimates – have been validated. The new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal that the number of households in Leeds is projected to rise by only 44,500 by 2028.
However, the council is confident in its Core Strategy housing projections. Executive member for planning, Cllr Peter Gruen, described the ONS figure as being a minimum base to start from, arguing that the continuing growth of Leeds’ economy – which is expected to generate 56,000 new jobs by 2031 – will mean that the real housing need by 2028 will be much higher.
But he also made it clear that the council is fully prepared to make any alterations that are considered “appropriate and necessary.”