Month: March 2016

Writing Neighbourhood Planning Policy – Next Leeds Planning Network event

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Saturday 16th April 2016

10:00 to 12:30

Old Broadcasting House, Woodhouse Lane

Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, LS2 9EN

This third neighbourhood planning workshop aims to give community groups the tools they need to tackle the tough issues. There will be short presentations and plenty of time for discussion and networking. Planning experts from Leeds Beckett University’s planning school will be on hand to provide advice and support.


Holbeck neighbourhood plan -a presentation by Dennis Kitchen & Tony Ray, Holbeck Neighbourhood Forum (TBC)

Planning policy that works for neighbourhoods – presentation by Quintin Bradley, planning lecturer from Leeds Beckett University

Discussion groups with planning advisors:

  • Planning and housing issues
  • Policy writing workshop
  • Training and support

Free and open to all members of neighbourhood planning groups!

With support from the CHOBE Small Grants Scheme 2016


Debating the Future for Affordable Homes

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Students, housing practitioners and tenants engaged in a hard-hitting analysis of the housing crisis at Leeds Planning Network’s Master Class on the Future of Affordable Homes on 17 March.

Speakers from leading housing organisations in the region provided an inside track on the government’s housing proposals and the impact of recent housing benefit changes. An audience of over 40 practitioners, students and community representatives discussed the prospects for housing futures, with the supply of homes dwindling and prices through the roof.


This was the fourth Master Class organised by Leeds Planning Network, one of the go-ahead research clusters in the School of the Built Environment and Engineering. Leading this project, senior housing and planning lecturer Quintin Bradley, said:

“This Master Class was a chance to assess the future for affordable housing with the key developers of not-for-profit and public housing. A perfect storm of policies threaten the existence of the affordable rented sector and this event gave practitioners, tenants and students an opportunity to get to grips with the likely impact”.


President of the Chartered Institute of Housing, Geraldine Howley, who is also chief executive of Incommunities, Bradford’s biggest affordable housing provider kicked off the event with an incisive analysis of the threats. Reductions in housing benefit for people aged under 35 have meant increasing rent arrears and have led Incommunities to dispose of many affordable single household homes.

Harrogate borough council’s development manager, Jenny Wood warned that the forced sale of council housing promised in the Housing Bill would deprive the town – which has the highest market rents in the north – of almost all its one bed affordable flats.


Martyn Broadest, development manager from Connect Housing, a West Yorkshire community housing association, reminded the audience of the social purpose of affordable housing, and warned of a resurgence of slum-living and a huge increase in homelessness.

The Master Class was ably chaired by Jane Kettle, fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing, and former head of school at Leeds Beckett University. Questions from community land trusts, commercial builders, tenants, and housing activists made for a lively debate. Slides from the presentations can be viewed at the ISSU link below. Tweets and images from the event itself can be viewed at the storify slideshow below the presentations.

The next Leeds Planning Network Master Class will be on Thursday 12 May on the Future of Retail Planning and will be chaired by Leeds Beckett Professor Cathy Barnes.

Martyn Broadest Presentation (Via Prezi)

‘Shouting from the Rooftops’ – help us showcase the very best our regional construction sector has to offer

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There are just under two months to go until we close for submissions for this year’s Constructing Excellence Yorkshire & Humber (CEYH) awards and whilst we know that the deadline may seem a long way off, we also know how quickly these dates can creep up on you. So here is our (gentle) reminder to start those entries for our “Swinging from the Rooftops” themed awards presentation on 1st July.

The 2016 CEYH awards, organised by the Centre for Knowledge Exchange at Leeds Beckett University, celebrate and reward the most innovative organisations, developments & initiatives in the built environment over the past 12 months.

The awards are fully inclusive, open to any organisations, companies and project teams involved in delivering “excellence” in construction, building and civil engineering across 13 different categories, each one representing the core themes underpinning the Constructing Excellence movement & improvement agenda.

As Professor Mohammad Dastbaz, Dean & Pro Vice Chancellor at Leeds Beckett University, explained: “Innovation in construction is essential to the industry’s continued success and as a University, we provide a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses as well as continuous development opportunities and consultancy to businesses to effectively equip the workforce.

“Once again we are excited about celebrating the breadth and range of talent across our region through these awards and look forward to welcoming entries across all of the categories.”

The winners of each category will be revealed at a gala dinner held at New Dock Hall in Leeds on 1st July. The theme of this year’s event is ‘Swinging from the rooftops’ where following the awards presentations, guests will be entertained by cocktails, dancing and live music from our four piece swing band.  The winners then go on to compete at the National Construction Excellence Awards held in London in the autumn. Last year the Yorkshire and Humber region won accolades in both Value (Interserve) and BIM project of the Year (Carillion Morgan Sindall Joint Venture) and with the fantastic projects going on the region at the moment, this can be bettered in 2016!

Organised by a dynamic and forward thinking team, the CEYH awards have grown to be the showpiece event of the regional construction awards calendar with over 350 professionals, representing a broad cross section of the construction industry, coming together to celebrate the projects, companies and organisations that are truly pushing our sector forward.

Pete Watson, CEO of the headline sponsors Atlas Cloud (pictured), added: “We are delighted to sponsor the Construction Excellence Yorkshire and Humber Awards 2016 for the 2nd consecutive year. We have seen a huge shift in technology enhancement in the regions with mobile teams working on some of the largest infrastructure projects in the country such as HS2, MAG, Crossrail 2 and Hinkley Point. This region has superb talent and is working on some of the best projects and we really need to be shouting about it.”

The closing date for submissions for this year’s awards is Friday 29 April.  For full details about the awards categories please visit .

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the CKE team on 0113 812 1902 or via

We look forward to reading your entries!

Community campaigners debate with planners and developers at Leeds Planning Network event

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Planning practitioners, house-builders and community members debated the balance between environmental sustainability and development, at Leeds Planning Network’s Master Class on Tuesday 1 March.

Over fifty people took part in this cutting-edge twilight Master Class event which featured the latest research and critical comment on the impact of five years of neighbourhood planning. Many community groups from Leeds got the chance to engage with developers and with planning professionals to tackle the challenges of sustainable development.

There is a real buzz about these Master Class events that aim to get under the skin of the tough decisions about planning and housing and community. This is the second exceptional event in a new strand of academic enterprise led by Leeds Planning Network, a research cluster funded by the School of the Built Environment and Engineering and run through the Centre for Knowledge Exchange.

Prof Gavin Parker, from the School of Real Estate and Planning at University of Reading presented the latest research on neighbourhood planning to community groups. They also got key tips from independent examiner Alyson Linnegar, while Paul Butler, former head of planning at Barratt Homes Yorkshire promoted the benefits of house-building in promoting sustainable growth. This was an opportunity for communities to learn from professionals but to make their views known too in a lively exchange of knowledge and experience. Many of the community groups taking part were already benefiting from the assistance and support of planning lecturers at Leeds Beckett, and this Master Plan event will feed into Leeds Planning Networks series of workshops for neighbourhood planning groups.



The evening’s presentations are reproduced at the ISSU link below and a selection of audience tweets and images from the event can be viewed at the Storify link at the end of this press release.


The next Leeds Planning Network Master Class will be on the Future for Affordable Housing on Thursday 17 March where the President of the Chartered Institute of Housing, and chief executive of Incommunities, Bradford’s premier social housing provider, will speak, alongside development chiefs from Harrogate Borough Council, and Connect Housing, the West Yorkshire community housing association. Details at the following link.