Call for a fresh look at num­ber of houses needed

Yorkshire Post - - PLOITICS & ECONOMY -

A LEEDS MP is call­ing for the city to scale back its hous­ing plans af­ter the Gov­ern­ment changed the way it fore­casts the de­mand for new homes.

Pud­sey MP Stu­art An­drew claimed the re­vised cal­cu­la­tion proved Leeds City Coun­cil’s plans were based on fig­ures that are too high.

The Gov­ern­ment this week set out pro­pos­als for a new for­mula to cal­cu­late fu­ture hous­ing need.

Un­der the pro­posed change, the num­ber of new houses York­shire will need could fall from al­most 21,000 a year to 16,000.

The fig­ures are im­por­tant be­cause coun­cils have to show in their lo­cal plans that they have ear­marked enough land to be de­vel­oped to meet hous­ing needs.

Mr An­drew said the Gov­ern­ment’s new cal­cu­la­tion showed the pre­vi­ous fig­ure of 3,660 for Leeds was too high.

He said: “For years I have joined other lo­cal cam­paign­ers to ar­gue that Leeds City Coun­cil’s hous­ing tar­get is wrong and too high, which in turn is threat­en­ing our green­belt.

“The new for­mula pro­posed by the gov­ern­ment says that the in­dica­tive as­sess­ment of hous­ing need is ac­tu­ally 2,649 dwellings per year.

“This bears out ev­ery­thing we have been say­ing for years.

“It’s now time for the Labour Leeds City Coun­cil to ac­cept this point and seek to have the fig­ures changed so that we can all fight to pro­tect our vi­tal green belt at the forth­com­ing pub­lic in­quiry.”

Labour has crit­i­cised the Gov­ern­ment’s pro­posed changes, ar­gu­ing “tin­ker­ing with the tech­ni­cal­i­ties of the plan­ning sys­tem” will do lit­tle to tackle the coun­try’s hous­ing cri­sis.

Hous­ing plans set out across York­shire have proved hugely con­tro­ver­sial as res­i­dents com­plain about the po­ten­tial im­pact on the green belt and green-field sites.

For­mer Lib­eral Demo­crat leader Tim Far­ron placed op­po­si­tion to Brexit at the cen­tre of the party’s cam­paign at this year’s Gen­eral Elec­tion.

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