What is a Neighbourhood Design Statement?
A Neighbourhood Design Statement is a document describing the qualities and characteristics local people value in their community and one which sets out clear and simple guidance for the design of all development in the area.Such a document is to be used to influence developers, ensure that new buildings respect and reflect local character.
The Moortown Neighbourhood Design Statement is a Supplementary Planning Document and has been adopted as such by the City Council as part of the Leeds Local Development Framework. It will become a ‘material planning consideration’ in determining Planning Applications and Appeals.The local community have been involved in the preparation of the Neighbourhood Design Statement and took the lead in the public consultation process in liaison with the Local Planning Authority.
The key aims of this Neighbourhood Design Statement are:
- To enable the local community to analyse the qualities that they value in their built and natural environment.
- To act as a tool for appraising and identifying the specific characteristics of the area, which give it a sense of place and identity.
- To assist Leeds City Council in ensuring that any future development requiring Planning Permission responds to and respects those characteristics.
- To provide design guidance for prospective developers and residents for all proposed developments, whether large or small, including alterations and extensions which may be ‘permitted development’, so that the existing character may be maintained and enhanced.
- To promote local environmental improvements and opportunities for enhancement by making recommendations for action.
- To provide local residents, Local Authority Planners and potential developers with a concise source of information and guidance on the historical development and character of Moortown.
Preparation of the NDS
The decision to prepare a Neighbourhood Design Statement was taken in 2008 with advice from the LCC planning team and residents who have formal training in town planning.
Residents were invited through Community Group newsletters and email circulation to help researching and writing the NDS. In May and June of 2010 groups of volunteers recruited through MCG walked around most of Moortown, with a planning consultant, noting features of the built forms and spaces, issues related to access and mobility, landscape and open space. These walking surveys were completed in May and June 2011. Overall nearly 1,000 photographs were taken illustrating the range of issues observed.
A public opinion survey was conducted in Spring 2010. 3,700 household NDS survey forms were distributed by hand, each with a pre-paid reply envelope. 416 forms were returned, an 11% response. Children’s NDS survey forms were distributed to Moortown Primary School and other local children and we received 12 responses.
A further survey of the views of Moortown traders was conducted in Summer 2011. 76 forms were distributed and 49 responses were collected by hand.
Progress toward the NDS was reported at annual open meetings in July 2010 and July 2011 at which further invitations were put out for volunteers to help research and draft the NDS.
In May 2011 the core team of NDS developers met and agreed the structure for the document and started preparing it. The public exhibition of these proposals was held in January 2012 at Moortown Primary School. The exhibition had been advertised in the local free magazine, on posters in local retail outlets and by individual notices distributed by hand to all residences in the affected area and the area it is proposed to include when the NDS is reviewed in a few years. The exhibition displayed the evidence gathered in support of the NDS and first drafts indicating what it would contain, including its recommendations. A total of 115 people visited the exhibition and written feedback was obtained from 76. Written and oral feedback was gathered at the meeting, on line and by post.
The document was modified then circulated around LCC departments for comment. Further modification took until Spring 2013, when a document designer was engaged to prepare it for printing. The document went through much further editing before being circulated around LCC departments again and even more changes. Several more rounds of review and update were completed.
A formal public consultation on the document was carried out in early 2016 and updates following consultation were completed and the document was formally adopted in mid 2016.
The adopted NDS can be accessed on the LCC planning site here.
Hard copies may be bought from Moortown Community Group for £15 plus postage and packaging. Please contact us if you wish to do this.
Although no timeframe for updating the NDS has currently been agreed, if you wish to send any comments to be considered in a future update, please use the Contact Us page on this website.
Links to downloadable documents: