Headingley NP:  Draft for consultation with forum comments. April 2018


Vision and Objectives 


 Headingley is its people. We pride ourselves on our inclusivity and our openness. Our plan aims to make sure that all sections of our society have a space in our area, that as we develop over the next 15 years we can continue to make a home for people from all or every  section of society.  We want people, should they choose, to find a good home here whatever their age and whatever their identity.

Our vision is of Headingley as a vibrant, inclusive, sustainable community which supports everyone’s physical and mental health and wellbeing. A place with good quality housing; good access to walking, exercise and play; strong communities providing mutual support and a thriving town centre and local economy serving our local residents and welcoming visitors and workers.

Our objectives are to:

  • Optimise the use of our housing stock to meet the needs of more people and widen the demographic profile of the area;
  • Ensure that as housing is developed, repurposed or designed it meets the needs of the old, the young and those with disabilities.
  • Preserve, sustain and improve our heritage and built environment.
  • Maintain our existing green spaces and where possible identify and provide more.
  • Endorse and extend any new or existing process which makes the area more environmentally friendly.

Each plan area will include the needs of these resident groups:

  • Children, Young adults, both short and long term Residents
  • People bringing up families
  • Older people
  • People, of any age, with disabilities

We recognise that these people of different ages and at different stages in their life course will also have different identities,  ethnicity, sexuality, social class, religion or none, disability/ability.

NB this discussion was held as a whole group – so there was less scope for detailed individual feedback.

Do you agree with the vision and objectives?

 The overall response was positive; forum members welcomed the tone and content of the draft plan.

There was some discussion about the split between the environmental and traffic sections – as there is a strong overlap should these be merged or split at a different point.

Comments included:

focus on the importance of environmental improvements.

try to reframe some of the content to take a more positive slant. 

What would you add?

 School provision was raised as an important issue -without an adequate number of school places families would be reluctant to move back to the area.

What would you remove?

No one mentioned anything specific that they wanted to remove.


These proposals have been drafted by the steering group from the many consultations we have had. (These are available on the website and will be detailed in the final plan).

Are these the right topics? 

No one thought that we should have any additional sections.

 There was some discussion about the split between the environmental and traffic sections – as there is a strong overlap should these be merged or split at a different point?



The housing stock in Headingley is largely soundly built Edwardian/Victorian properties with some interwar build. Parts of the area are very densely occupied, so there is little space for new development but, there is scope for modification and development of properties, particular the larger houses to bring the quality of the housing stock up to current occupational and environmental standards and make it more attractive to purchasers/renters.

The major local issue over the past 25 years has been the rapid shift from long term occupation to Houses in multiple occupancy.  The council and local community have worked hard to moderate the impact of this,  and now, as a result of HMO legislation, market developments (new student housing in the centre) and community work we have reached a stage where housing occupancy  is gradually shifting from  a shorter  term to a longer term pattern. The NP forum recognises the contribution that short term residents bring to the area and seek to maintain the traditional Headingley welcome to shorter term residents. The focus of this plan is on supporting the ongoing rebalancing of the population whilst at the same time continuing to welcome the youthful short term people who have given so much to Headingley over the years. It is not the intention of this Plan to push existing short term residents out of the Neighbourhood Area. Indeed, it is hoped that some of these short term residents will choose to become long term residents rather than moving out of the area.

The NP supports the Leeds City Council’s Core Strategy Policy H6 which seeks to avoid new HMO growth in areas of high concentration, as well as the Article 4 Direction introduced by the Council in 2012 to suspend Permitted Development Rights for changing a (C3 use) dwelling house to a (C4 use) small houses in multiple occupation and considers this to be an essential underpinning for future developments.

Housing Uses

This neighbourhood plan will include a policy that supports:

  • Retrofitting for accessibility across the life course
  • Retrofitting for environmental sustainability

We recognise the national and local shortage of housing so support well designed changes which will provide more units of housing for people who want to live in our area long term.  This will include supporting turning big houses into high quality, reasonably sized flats where people can settle and make their homes, or into co-housing projects.

If any land becomes available for housing development this housing should be good quality, well designed, and appropriate for a wide range of tenures to meet the needs of people with a wide range of needs.

The (post plan) neighbourhood forum will, using the guidance in this plan:

Work alongside landlords, developers and community groups to

  • Encourage longer term letting arrangements
  • Encourage the modification of surplus and under occupied HMOs to become  longer term  housing
  • Support co- housing and alternative housing models
  • Improve the standard of the existing housing stock.
Do you agree with the overview on housing?

General agreement that the current progress towards a more balanced population structure must be encouraged by plan policies.


What would you add? /What would you remove?

NB: The points below clarify and expand the topic contents so have not been split into these two categories.

General housing comments

How is housing to be ‘supported’ and ‘encouraged’?

By having policies that reference good design, long term tenure types and space standards

Can we encourage the conversion of terrace housing into flats? Will that encourage a more sustainable population structure?

Could the plan have reference to encouraging ‘co-housing’ in some form, whether its conversion of existing buildings or new building. What about a presumed consent (subject to further detailed work) for co-housing schemes?

Can the plan have reference to shared ownership?


Parking / transport

Parking – flats in large terrace houses could well mean less demand for parking when compared to large single HMOs

Can the plan mandate residential parking schemes [No but the Council can discuss with local residents in specific areas]

 Family housing

General agreement that family housing is important.

How do we keep family housing? How do we safeguard housing that is suitable for families?

How do we increase the number of children in the area?

Longer term lets need encouraging, what can the plan do about that?


Recognition that plan can’t address problems such as Changeover

Could we have a policy reference to gardens? A reference to the quality of front gardens?

Carbon reduction, how can be we encourage that? Can we mandate energy efficient and carbon reducing cladding? What about BREEAM excellent gets you automatic consent?

Heritage and Design

There are 4 Conservation Areas in Headingley, and overall the NP area has many visual advantages,   much of the building design is framed by walls, trees, roads many built in traditional materials

We recommend that any repairs, renovations  or replacement are undertaken using traditional materials (even outside the Conservation Area) and that if this is not appropriate that interesting modern design is used to allow for flexibility in the design process.

The Headingley and Hyde Park Neighbourhood Design Statement was developed by XXXXX and adopted by the Council as a Supplementary Planning Document in September 2010, making it a material consideration in the determination of planning applications. The Neighbourhood Design Statement covers a wider area than the Headingley Neighbourhood Area, but the evidence, contextual analysis, character appraisals and recommendations contained within are still pertinent. It is noted that the Neighbourhood Design Statement was adopted before the introduction of Neighbourhood Planning in 2011 (2012 Legislation), and so the intent of the Forum is to use the Design Statement as a key part of the evidence base to support the design policies contained in this Plan

The earlier Headingley Renaissance document does not have statutory powers but may provide useful context




Do you agree with the overview on heritage?

Broadly the group agreed with the topic.

What would you add?

Headingley Archive (iterative maybe) of development over time – neighbourhood pride!!

Blue plaques

Block off roads

20mph zones

One way schemes eg Headingley lane in Victoria road out

Provision as First Suburb add history no 1 bus might attract funding information boards/website

Degradation/Decrepitude: how to report, how to police this

Conflict between heritage aspects of the stadium and impact on community! Not mentioned in doc. Sutcliffe gates hidden.

Vanishing capstones from walls other questions on enforcement, of design, of alterations and of maintenance (shrubs in chimneys)

What would you remove?

There were no specific points here.


Date of Renaissance document, York stone or not

Do conservation Area rules count for more than the Neighbourhood plan?


Environmental sustainability

The consultation we have done so far shows that local people value the environment in its various aspects.

Green space, public and private

We have very limited green space in Headingley although we are bordered by some beautiful woods and parks and informal green spaces.

We support the preservation and continual enhancement of these areas which in some cases are shared with other NP areas.

Where possible we want to encourage wildlife in gardens and small green spaces.   All local developments, housing, transport and commercial Designs should maximise through routes for wildlife and where possible include wildlife features, such as swift bricks.

Every opportunity should be taken to make small green spaces – as community gardens and to plant trees and to work alongside local organisations such as Headingley community orchards.

The treescape of Headingley is a key visual and practical (in terms of reducing air pollution) amenity.   All local trees should share the same protection as those in the conservation areas and if any need to be felled because of disease they will be replaced by those of a good stature.  We will encourage the maintenance and provision of hedge rows, both beautiful and an effective barrier against air pollution.

Direct flooding risk is limited as we are elevated, but we can make a small contribution to reduce the risk in neighbouring lower lying areas by maintaining and regaining as much green space or soft / permeable surfaces as possible – whether this is private gardens or public parks etc.  The plan would undertake to is could be turned into a paragraph about landlords/owners paving over front gardens for parking spaces.

Our existing network of ginnels and formal and informal footpaths should be sustained, publicised and added to where possible.

Energy saving and pollution reduction

Any new planning permissions should require maximum energy saving and developments should be in the spirit of minimising CO2 production.  This will include a presumption in favour of renewables even if these have a visual impact

Air pollution is addressed below

Lighting and light pollution; evidence for the negative effects of light pollution, on wildlife and human health is growing, our plan should restrict the use of intrusive lighting where such powers exist now or in the future.

Do you agree with the overview on the environment?


 All who attended this table were very happy with the overall draft and except for the “Sustainability” issue no one asked for anything to be removed.


One of the most interesting discussions was around “Sustainability” and its use in this section.


There was a suggestion that sustainability should be the main theme for all our sections and it would be better to have Sustainability more prominently weighted and worded in our “Vision & Objectives”


A suggestion was that the heading for this section was “Our Environment”


With regard to green spaces, an important area to maintain were our green verges along with the need to ensure that gardens were not turned into bricked areas, it  was asked could we not insist on Planning Permission to ensure that our proposals carried some weight. (Population Density).


Living streets were mentioned as was “Passive Housing” for new build.


Hedgehog tunnels.


TPO collection plans (Not sure what that was, on a post it note.)


Ginnels were to be more clearly identified and signposted.


This suggestion was counteracted by a reduction in street clutter (signs etc.)


Any new developments to have green space and permeable driveways.

On anything to be added,

No major suggested inputs.  Requests of additions, were on the whole covered by the plan in one form or another and with the individual suggestions of such a nature, that they would be difficult to write into the overall plan.


e.g. that all litter bins should have a small garden attached.


What would you remove?

Town centre

Headingley town centre is a destination area for many people and it is an important community resource for local people.

The existing TC has much strength but is threatened by various pressures. Some of the pressures are local and some reflect national changes.  Empty shops and traffic congestion are two aspects which greatly concern residents. The NP wishes to maintain a healthy balance between a night time economy and the needs of workers and residents of all ages.

Community action has greatly benefited the town centre provision both in terms of the cumulative impact policy and of directly supporting the provision of a wide range of shops and restaurants.

There are a number of areas and actions which could be undertaken to improve and sustain the town centre.  These might include (but not be restricted to):

  • That plans to reduce the impact of traffic are supported
  • That plans to redesign the pedestrian areas are supported / initiated/ sustained.
  • That we continue to maintain the CIP – whilst supporting our attractive local restaurants and cafes
  • That we work with landlords to encourage reletting of empty commercial properties and if at some stage in the future it is clear that there is overprovision we support the conversion of commercial into domestic or appropriate retail properties.

Headingley Development Trust, local retail outlets and the contribution of groups like Headingley in Bloom and Child Friendly Headingley currently make an essential contribution to the vibrancy of the Town Centre. We support these initiatives and seek to ensure that the views of such active participants and those which follow them are always reflected in our decision making.

As this is a key area we  recommend that further work is done by the neighbourhood plan forum and local organisations  to develop a town centre strategy which will be incorporated within the NP This will look at the changing nature of the Town Centre and a vision for the future.

Do you agree with the overview on the town centre?

All were very supportive of the Neighbourhood Plan and thanked the steering group for their help. 

What would you add?

Empty shops need to be used. Be good to see a quality cheese shop.

A request for some public toilets.

The loss of banks is such a shame.

Great that our Post Office has been saved.

More commercial businesses to use shops. Maybe set up a conversation with the Universities re start – up advice etc.

Get LCC to waive empty rates in Town Centre area.

Parking needs to be better.

Traffic pollution and heavy goods on Otley Road.

Close off roads like Wood Lane.

The Headingley Farmer’s Market is a great asset. A suggestion to include/ extend up to top end of North Lane ( outside Nat West ) to encourage people to walk down North Lane.

Look forward to supporting the Town Centre becoming more child friendly.

To ensure the original shop fronts are protected and maintained if re development takes place.


What would you remove?

 Nothing was suggested here.

Traffic and air pollution

Headingley is on a major through route into town which is complicated by an east west cross route. This results in the familiar congestion which is one of the first things that people think of when they think of Headingley.  There have been numerous schemes since the 70s which have intended to improve the situation – and been thrown out due to local opposition. And some land/housing has been subject to planning blight since then. In addition we have a high level of air pollution which has health implications.

Whilst recognising that it is not within the scope of the HNP to solve the wider problems we wish to recommend that :

One of the strengths of Headingley is that it is possible to walk from most of the housing to good local shops.  We would wish to build on this

  • That the imperative to reduce air pollution is a higher priority than speed or efficiency of journeys
  • Any housing and office development support the use of non-car travel.
  • That cycling provision is improved
  • That active travel/ public transport is prioritised.
  • That children/older people have priority over the car driver
  • That any parking provision is carefully designed to meet the needs of people who are unable to use public transport active transport but not to attract more car drivers into the area.
  • That local amenities, including the stadium are obliged to have an effective active travel policy .

Rat running is a problem in many areas – we support the development and maintenance of local traffic calming schemes and would wish to support home zone areas if local residents choose to set one up.

Do you agree with the overview on traffic/air pollution?

Overall most people approved in general – comments were generally in the direction of adding more detail.

What would you add?

Home zones, cyclists on pavements

Add NOx in list

Try to adapt to predicted changes in car use eg electric charging points.

Suggestion of more positive framing – in first para – we want to encourage…

Better signage for public transport (but recognition of the problems with too much pavement clutter.

Cycle storage – home, work, shopping

Problems with pavement parking

 What would you remove?

No suggestions were made here.


Community/Social cohesion

Headingley has a range of effective community organisations which have worked well to help Headingley turn the corner.  We recommend that once this plan is agreed and passed the HNP forum works closely with these organisations to implement and continue their good work.

Many of the suggestions above are designed to continue with the rebalance the demographics of the community – particularly the 20s to 40s age group who have been priced out of the area.  We look forward to this group being more widely involved in steering the agenda and in the wide range of community organisations in Headingley.

Although there is very active community input in our area we wish to be more inclusive of a wider range of people. Some of our design suggestions as they contribute to walking and mobility will also contribute to social interaction, which in its turn has the potential to reduce loneliness, a contributor to ill health. an increasingly beautiful environment will also help.

Do you agree with the overview on social/community?


What would you add?

Headingley is a Village – not a Town centre – don’t like the term

Need to get the HNP message out to more people – Evening Post, put it in places people go and read

How do people find out about Neighbourhood associations?

·         Attracting new people and managing the old resident community, encourage, make it easy for new residents to enter (old people in associations I think, not just old people)

·         New community, new Hub- push neighbourhood stuff if people want to

Online presence

More places to have conversations in the streets

Where do we meet people? Making spaces for people to meet.

Where do we engage? _ Crossleys, Natural Health Food Store, Post Office queue

Places where people can go and meet – HEART

More and greater variety of things (activities?) at HEART

More publicity and posters for HEART events

Planning shouldn’t obscure public resources in places where people meet.

Headingley medical centre and pharmacy

Should have a welcome to Headingley sign to give us sense of place and establish our identity

Headingley should be a place (a destination?) not just somewhere to go through by road

Bus commentaries should say something about the area – not just the stop names

Women pushing prams and with children – communicate (not sure whether this is they should communicate with each other or that we should communicate with them?)

Ginnels connect the area and people – map and preserve ginnels – also air pollution

Stadium is a key landmark

Engage students as part of the community – go to universities (staff and students) when they first come to Leeds – freshers’ fairs, induction, introductory material. _ encourage them to make things better for themselves.

Stereotypes – breaking history (re students) new message

Danger of losing student population


What would you remove?


Nothing was suggested here.