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Planning and housing practitioners discussed the urgent challenge of how to build more affordable housing at Leeds Planning Network’s Master Class on Innovation in Housing Supply on November 17th.

The event was organised by Leeds Planning Network, Leeds Beckett’s School of the Built Environment’s planning research cluster, and the Centre for Knowledge Exchange and was chaired by Martyn Broadest, Director of Home at Connect Housing.

The Planning Master Class was attended by nearly 50 practitioners, and featured presentations from Rob Greenland, of Leeds Community Housing, and Vicky Payne, from Urbed – Urban Environmental Design – the Manchester-based planning co-operative.

Quintin Bradley, from Leeds Planning Network said: “This year only 32,110 affordable homes were built in England. That’s 52% lower than the previous year. There is an urgent need to change the way we deliver housing in this country and this Master Class look at innovative ways to tackle the problems.”

Leeds Community Homes are developing a community land trust to ensure homes stay affordable in perpetuity and any increase in house values goes back to the community. Meanwhile Urbed are working on designs for new garden cities where increases in land values are captured for the long-term benefit of residents.

The key issue for both presenters was the need to purchase land at its existing use value so that the increase in price that follows planning permission can be channelled to provide affordable housing, and to invest in infrastructure and community services. In the current planning system, this uplift in value goes to the landowner and developer only.

Urbed’s garden city vision won the Wolfson Economics Prize in 2014 and they are currently working on master plans for potential settlements in Sheffield and near Birmingham. Leeds Community Homes have launched a community share offer to raise £360,000 to create 16 permanently-affordable homes in Leeds.

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Please see link here for the Presentation Slides from The Master Class.  leeds-master-class-slides-final