Residents must prepare for hard planning fights

Statistics are always open to manipulation but 70,000 hew homes sounds a lot no matter which way you say it.

That’s the figure Leeds City Council is now recommending the whole Leeds area will need to meet demand over the next 16 years.

Its building blueprint — the Local Development Framework Core Strategy, to give it its jargon-heavy title — also mentions that about 30 per cent of those homes will have to go on green-field or green-belt land, despite the emphasis remaining on previously developed plots being considered first.

Locally, the strategy, which will now go out to public consultation, would mean an extra 1,000 homes for Otley and at least 2,300 more for Aireborough.

And houses that are part of any major developments which already have planning permission or are in the pipeline, such as those for the Garnett’s and old Wharfedale Hospital sites, in Otley, will not count towards those totals.

Local councillors have quite understandably been quick to air concerns about the impact of such an influx of new homes on their areas, especially in terms of school places, road congestion and medical services.

And they are also keen to know exactly which parts of Guiseley, Rawdon, Yeadon and Otley are being considered for the new housing.

That detail is something we are unlikely to learn for a while, but residents — wary of what has happened in other areas, including Menston — are preparing themselves for some hard fights ahead should any of the homes be bound for their treasured green fields.

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