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Around 40 people from neighbourhood planning groups across Leeds took part in Leeds Beckett University’s first workshop on 7 November where the University’s planning lecturers put their expertise at the service of local communities.

The workshop was organised by Leeds Planning Network and the Centre for Knowledge Exchange and gave neighbourhood planning groups an opportunity to share experiences, discuss common issues and devise solutions and get the advice of experts.  Almost 20 neighbourhood groups were represented at the event, from both urban and rural areas, including those just setting out to plan their community’s future.

Quintin Bradley, Senior Lecturer in Planning at Leeds Beckett University, said: “Neighbourhood planning allows community groups and parish councils to shape the look and feel of their local areas and set the ground-rules for new development. This workshop was the first in a series of events in which Leeds Beckett planning staff aim to help local people in Leeds influence the future of their neighbourhoods.”

Participants at the workshop learned from Jill Bolton, from Linton parish council who now have a finished neighbourhood plan and are ready to submit it to popular referendum. Dawn Carey Jones, from Hyde Park explained how their neighbourhood plan aims to protect local green space and help improve the image of the area.  Doug Morley and John Urwin, from the Kippax neighbourhood plan, told how they consulted the community and kept public interest in the plan-making process. Howard Bradley talked of the challenges facing the Seacroft neighbourhood in shaping the future of their area.



Many common themes were identified, especially the length of time needed to draw up a plan and the difficulty in keeping local volunteers engaged. There are also key issues that neighbourhood planning cannot deal with. But participants agreed that neighbourhood plans should set out the community’s hopes and ambitions and make it clear what local people think. The neighbourhood plan-making process helps bring everyone together in a shared vision and it is a unique opportunity for local people to influence their communities.

A selection of the best images, tweets and comments from Saturday’s event can be found in the storify below. Copies of the speakers presentations can also be found underneath the storify.

The network’s next event will be our planning masterclass on Thursday 19th November. This event will give an overview of the housing policy including how housing delivery targets are set, sites allocated and how conflict and consensus are managed. With perspectives from the politicians, planners and house builders this is a unique opportunity to hear from decision makers about the negotiations that go to make up a local housing development plan, and to discuss house-building in Leeds and the Council’s standard for housing. Further details and booking can be found at the following link

Storify from 7th November Neighbourhood Planning Workshop



Hyde Park Neighbourhood Plan Presentation

Linton Neighbourhood Plan Presentation


Leeds Planning Network is developing new research and enterprise in spatial planning and housing for the School of the Built Environment & Engineering. Its services enhance Leeds Beckett University’s suite of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in town planning, housing, regeneration and urban management.