National planning policy is summed up in the National Planning Policy Framework, published in 2012. Neighbourhood planning was introduced by the Localism Act 2011, amending the Town & Country Planning Act 1990. Policy is outlined on the page ‘Giving communities more power in planning local development’ on the government website. For further information, see also Locality’s ‘Neighbourhood Planning’ webpage.
Local planning policy is provided in the Council’s Local Plan. At present in Leeds, this is the Revised Unitary Development Plan of 2006; but this will be replaced by Leeds Core Strategy (by the end of 2014 or early in 2015). Leeds is very supportive of neighbourhood planning, and has designated more Neighbourhood Plans than any other local authority. Information is on the Council’s webpage ‘Neighbourhood Planning’.
Planning at neighbourhood level has had a strong base in Headingley ever since the Inner North West Area Committee appointed a Community Planner in 2003 (unfortunately, this role was discontinued by the Community Committee in 2015). Residents took the initiative in preparing Headingley Renaissance, published in 2005, with sixty recommendations for the renaissance of Central Headingley. Many of these have been implemented, especially by Headingley Development Trust, including Headingley Homes, HEART, the Farmers’ Market, Pulse and the Neighbourhood Design Statement. This last was developed by local residents, and as Headingley & Hyde Park Neighbourhood Design Statement, was adopted by the Council as a Supplementary Planning Document in 2010. Both these documents are available at HEART on Bennett Road.
The proposed Headingley Neighbourhood Plan therefore represents a logical confluence of national, local and neighbourhood policy.