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Council to consider minimum dwelling size

Words: Laura Edgar

Leeds City Council is investigating the need for “even more challenging” building standards.

The council has an ambition to have a “strong economy” and be a “compassionate city”, something that is reflected in ‘Best Council Plan’. This, according to the council, promotes living in “decent, affordable homes”.

Underpinning this outcome, according to an executive board report on locally set building standards, “is the priority to provide enough homes of a high standard in all sectors”.

In September 2015, a white paper motion relating to “Passivhaus* and other similar environmental building standards” was approved at full council.

From this, the council want officers to investigate the need for “even more challenging, locally set building standards”, that at the same time promote and support self-builders and community builders who will seek to build to Passivhaus or similar standard”.

To meet the standards set out in the Housing Standards Review when determining planning applications, the council is promoting a Development Plan Document (DPD) in relation to minimum space standards and accessible housing requirements as set out in the Housing Standards Review.

The DPD, as part of the local plan process, will be subject to public consultation, examination and adoption before it can be implemented.

The report on locally set building standards states that the DPD will “provide the necessary clarity and certainty to be used as a basis for considering all developments through the planning application process”

The council intends to formally consult on the plan this autumn. There is expected to be a public examination in spring 2017.

* Passivhaus refers to results in ultra-low energy buildings that require little energy for space heating or cooling.