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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.