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I consider the plan for MX2-39 to be UNSOUND
Positively prepared? No I believe that the plan is NOT positively prepared
- The plan does not align with the core strategy and MX2-39 is too far away from Wetherby to support the need for housing and employment in the Wetherby locality;
- MX2-39 does not seek to meet the local needs for housing (CPRE). There has not been a survey of local housing needs;
- MX2-39 has been allocated 75% of all the new housing build in the Outer North East HMCA;
- The lack of positive preparation is further evidenced by Leeds City Council’s failure to offer a fully announced and advertised consultation period – normally 6 weeks. MX2-39’s promoters and Leeds City Council failed to align themselves and independently and separately held exhibitions and drop in sessions. M & G stated incorrect dates for the Leeds City Council’s drop in sessions and the Council did nothing to rectify this;
- MX2-39 comprises Ancient Woodland, which cannot be destroyed, moved or changed;
- MX2-39 significantly fails to meet LCC Sustainability Appraisal;
- MX2-39 does not meet the Core Strategy spatial policies 1,6 see earlier reference
- MX2-39’s target population density of over 9,000 per sq km at its completion cannot be supported within the site boundaries;
- SAP & AVAP infrastructure background paper para 2.67 only requires developers to take care that surface water is adequately drained through the appropriate system. There is no mention of effect on the Ancient Woodland and there is no knowledge of the proposed sewerage systems which is of a major concern to residents of Aberford, Barwick In Elmet, Garforth and villages further afield that suffer from flooding due to the flow of water from MX2-39;
- The plan does not meet Core Strategy Spatial policy 10 as a review of the green belt has not been carried out and site MX2-39 is contrary to the purpose of the green belt policy as it would coalesce Barwick In Elmet with Aberford and even with Garforth;
- MX2-39 covers land which cannot be developed – Ancient Woodland;
- There is no adequate transport plan and the required infrastructure does not exist at all in 2016;
Is the plan justified? NO the plan is not justified
- Site MX2-39 is the only site considered and has not been properly assessed in comparison with other available sites;
- It has been allocated 75% of all new housing for the Outer North East HMCA. There is no explanation for this decision.
- This site fails to meet many of the SAs.
- Other sites within the Outer North East HMCA with far better SA scoring have failed to be considered. See our appendix 4.
- There is not enough evidence to release site MX2-39.
- There are many sites within the Outer North East HMCA which have been discounted for reasons which could equally apply to site MX2-39 Site Allocation Plan- site Allocation Proposals (housing and safeguarded land) No. 9 Outer South East.
Is the plan effective? No the plan is not effective
The plan for MX2-39 is allocated to phase 1 despite major concerns identified by the Highways Authority. There is no evidence that any public transport authority, Network Rail, Yorkshire Water, clinical commissioning groups, education, fire and rescue services, utilities (gas, electric and telecoms) have been consulted.
Without consulting these agencies and the initial issues and problems being identified, site MX2 39 cannot be regarded as effective in delivering the allocated housing, associated infrastructure and services necessary to this large development.
MX2-39 is a site of Ancient Woodland and cannot be changed.
Is the plan consistent with national planning policy? NO the plan is not consistent with national planning policy.
- NPPF 9 protecting green belt land
Para 80 States that the green belt serves five purposes of which one is to prevent settlements merging, MX2-39 would coalesce Barwick In Elmet, Aberford, Garforth and Micklefield.
Part 4: Is the Plan legally compliant?
- 4.1 Do you consider the plan to be legally compliant? NO
The plan has not been prepared in accordance with the Local Development Scheme;
The plan is not in compliance with the Statement of Community Involvement – NPPF and the Localism Act 2011 relating to the Statement of Community Involvement.
The council has not carried out consultation consistent with the SCI.
The plan has not been subject to sustainability appraisal;
The plan is not in conformity with the core strategy
The plan has not met the Duty to Co-operate with other bodies, including neighbouring authorities such as North Yorkshire CC?
The plan has not met any of these criteria.
- 4.2 Statement of Community involvement. For the Statement of Community Involvement (adopted in 2007 ) to be included in the LDF, without reference to the requirements to the National Planning Policy Framework and the Localism Act ( 2011 ) and how the council will address them, must mean that the plan is not consistent with national policy and cannot be legally compliant if it does not incorporate the requirements of the Act
- Authority Monitoring report. The LDS document February 2015 states that an ‘Authority Monitoring Report’ will be prepared each year. It is understood that there has not been an Annual Monitoring report since 2013. If as stated the Localism Act requires such a report and no up to date report exists, then it is questionable that the plan is legally compliant. The Annual Monitoring Report is the vehicle which confirms compliance for both the Statement of community Involvement and the Gannt charts in section 4 of the Local development Scheme.
- It would therefore seem that the plan is unsound in these respects and cannot be considered effective since it cannot be monitored or justified or if it is not in accordance with the Localism Act, it cannot be considered legally compliant.