A Neighbourhood Design Statement (NDS) is a public document that gives a detailed guide to the character of a neighbourhood. It sets out the specific nature of the buildings and landscape which make the neighbourhood distinctive, with recommendations on how to encourage new development that enhances and complements what already exists. Its key features are (a) the involvement of the community in its production, and (b) its adoption as a formal planning document, to ensure that it has real influence on new development. NDS originated in Village Design Statements (VDS) which were launched by the Countryside Agency in 1996, to encourage new development that fits its locality and respects local character. They are recognised both nationally, by the government (in PPG7 on The Countryside) and locally, by Leeds City Council.
The Council has adopted eight Design Statements as Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) supporting the Unitary Development Plan (UDP). Seven are for villages in the outer areas of the city, from Bramhope (in 2001), Bardsey and East Keswick (both 2002), Poole and Thorp Arch, and Hawksworth and Adel (both 2005). However, in 2003, Far Headingley Village Society pioneered the adaptation of VDS as Neighbourhood Design Statements, for neighbourhoods within a city. The Far Headingley NDS covered the village of Far Headingley and its environs, from Shaw Lane, along Otley Road, to the Ring Road. It was adopted by the Council as SPG early in 2005. (As the UDP is succeeded by the Local Development Framework [LDF] subsequent VDS will be adopted as Supplementary Planning Documents [SPD].
Inspired by the Far Headingley initiative, in 2005 South Headingley Community Association (SHCA) proposed a NDS for Headingley south of Shaw Lane. This area experiences threats to buildings (by landlords), to open spaces (by developers) and to streets (by traffic). The proposal was endorsed by North Hyde Park Neighbourhood Association (NHPNA), Headingley Network and Cardigan Triangle Community Association. On behalf of these associations, Leeds HMO Lobby put the proposal to the Inner NW Area Committee (INWAC), and in February 2006, it was included in the Area Delivery Plan 2006-07. Finally, on 7 December, the Area Committee resolved ′that approval be given to Headingley being the focus of a Neighbourhood Design Statement with funding allocated to Headingley Development Trust to undertake this′ (Minute 71).
At the beginning of 2007, Headingley Development Trust appointed a Project Director (Richard Tyler) and a Design Consultant (Tony Ray, who has wide experience of NDS), and it set up a Steering Group to oversee the Project. The Group comprises the Project Director and the Design Consultant, as well as the Community Planning Officer, Andrew Crates, and representatives of all the local community associations within the neighbourhood, Cardigan Triangle, Headingley Network, NHPNA, SHCA and the Turnways. The Neighbourhood concerned extends from Shaw Lane down to Woodhouse Moor, between Woodhouse Ridge on the one hand, and Batcliffe Wood, the railway line and Royal Park Road on the other.
On 23 September 2010, HDT reported to Area Committee that the commission to prepare the NDS had been successfully completed, and the document launched at Celebrate Headingley on 11 September. For a report on the Project, click here. To view or download the NDS, click here (NB this is a large file, approx 7MB). Printed copies of the NDS may be purchased at HEART.
Headingley Neighbourhood Design Statement is funded by Leeds City Council′s Inner North West Area Committee.
Project Director: Richard Tyler