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MP Questions Leeds Housing Targets

March 7, 2014 | Professionals  

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The consultation for the Local Development Framework Core Strategy recently ended, but there are some who do not agree with the proposed 70,000 houses planned for construction in North Leeds and Wharfedale by 2028.

Leeds North West MP Greg Mulholland asked Parliament for a debate on the issue, citing challenges to Leeds City Council’s figures by a professor at the University of Leeds and by Wharfedale and Airdale Review Development (WARD). He said, “Leeds City Council must not approve housing on precious green field and green belt land on the basis of figures that experts have said are dubious. Green belt and green field land must be preserved, especially when there are more viable and sustainable brown filed sites available.”

Dr David Ingham, Chair of WARD, said, “The 70,000 houses which Leeds is claiming need building over the next 14 years is based on a largely aspirational notion that Leeds will become the number one city in the North and therefore will need these houses to accommodate the workforce. The logic behind this is highly questionable…”

According to the challengers, the housing target was based on an over-estimate by the Office for National Statistics. Other cities, such as Bradford, Birmingham and Leicster, have shown far greater population increases than Leeds, but have lower housing targets.

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