Housing forum launches ‘Liveability Leeds’

A new report sets out a call to action to ensure housing delivery supports economic growth in Leeds.

Established by the West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, Liveability Leeds brings together members of the housing development community from across the city, including Barratt & David Wilson Homes, Taylor Wimpey, Strata Homes, Rushbond, CEG, JLL, Cushman & Wakefield, Shulmans, Spawforths and Newgate Communications.

Liveability Leeds: Delivering housing choice for the people of Leeds calls for a step change in housing delivery within Leeds and a greater focus on creating ‘liveable’ places. A call to action, the report sets out a series of recommendations for how the public/private sector and local communities can work together to see Leeds recognised as the best city in the UK.

  • Included among the recommendations in the report:
  • Greater recognition of the integral role housing plays in economic growth
  • For housing developers to work in partnership with and communicate more effectively to local communities to improve the quality of place making and ensure local communities benefit from new housing
  • Support from the industry for local employment initiatives and apprenticeships
  • For local communities to be open to dialogue with housing developers, be clear on community priorities and hold politicians and developers to account
  • Greater ambition within the emerging Core Strategy and Site Allocations Plan to ensure it is fully aligned with economic ambitions and will deliver the right type of housing in the right locations at the right time and with the right level of services and community infrastructure.
  • Ongoing support for City Centre and Inner Area housing development balanced with further growth in suburban and outlaying settlements to meet the full range of housing need and demand
  • Improvements to the planning application processes to give greater certainty and confidence for all involved
  • Ensure infrastructure requirements are considered early in the process and aligned with housing delivery
  • Ensure developer contributions to physical and social infrastructure are delivered to support local communities and that Developers and the Council communicate these benefits effectively and transparently.

David Rolinson, Chair of Spawforths and Liveability Leeds said:
“New housing supports and drives prosperity for everyone in Leeds. If we don’t collectively deliver the right kind of homes, in the right places this could mean that people are being priced out of the Leeds housing market and seriously threaten the city’s economic growth aspirations. However, this is about much more than housing numbers. We all have a role to play if we want to see Leeds recognised as the best city in the UK. We need to work in partnership to deliver great places and communities which will make Leeds a truly liveable city.”

Paula Dillon, President of the Leeds Chamber of Commerce said:
“Being ambitious around economic growth is not enough. There are various strategies designed to grow the Leeds economy but the importance of housing is rarely acknowledged in full. For Leeds to fulfil its potential and compete on a regional, national and global stage we must recognise the importance of housing to inclusive growth.”

The forum is urging all parties to work together to accelerate housing delivery and enhance the “liveability” of Leeds. With a focus on place-making and quality the liveability agenda is about creating places where people want to live. The forum is therefore committed to working with local communities to understand their needs and aspirations, to ensure that they benefit from new housing and that the places of the future match the way that people want to live.
Liveability Leeds has been working with the City Council to address constraints to housing delivery in Leeds since 2016. The forum is currently drawing up a ‘Planning Charter’ with the Council that will set out a code of good practice for delivery of growth in Leeds.

David Rolinson went on to say:
“We recognised very early on in the life of the forum, that we needed to re-build trust and respect around housing delivery in Leeds. It has become an antagonistic and legalistic process which has lost sight of the benefits of housing for the communities of Leeds. The Planning Charter will be a code of good practice which will secure a benchmark level of quality from both the development industry and the Council towards housing schemes.”

The Liveability Leeds report can be downloaded here