Inspector says Dales needs more houses

NEWS: News.
NEWS: News.

The council is considering increasing the number of houses to be built over the next 14 years after a Government inspector found its Local Plan unsound.

Under examination from a Secretary of State appointed inspector, the Derbyshire Dales District Council’s Local Plan was found to be unsatisfactory.

In his report, Inspector Keith Holland said: “The Derbyshire Dales Local Plan will not be found sound in its current form.”

Almost eight years in the making, the revised Derbyshire Dales Local Plan was submitted to the Secretary of State in April this year, setting out the council’s planning policies for the period of 2006 to 2028. This included a figure of 4,400 new homes that it stated needed to be built in the Dales by 2028. The inspector said the authority needed to review the relationship between its objectively assessed need for housing (OAN) and the environmental constraints that apply in the area.

Mr Holland added: “There are three choices available to the council.

“The examination can continue but the dangers of doing so are clear and obvious.

“The examination can be suspended to allow the council to undertake further work and consultation. This option is only realistic if the council considers that this work can be done within a reasonable period – say six months – and is able to set out a realistic timetable for the work.

“Finally the plan can be withdrawn and re–submitted once the issues identified have been addressed.”

In reaction to the inspector’s comments, the council has decided not to continue with the examination as originally scheduled.

Councillor Lewis Rose commented: “To get our Local Plan adopted by the Government – and protect as soon as possible the Derbyshire Dales from opportunistic development – the council may have to consider increasing the number of allocated development sites to meet the Inspector’s view of what is needed up to 2028. However, I can assure the communities of the Derbyshire Dales that any decisions to allocate further land for development, will only be taken following full public consultation.”

Corporate director Paul Wilson said: “While the district council is naturally disappointed, it makes sense at this stage to take heed of Mr Holland’s advice and consider potential options for moving forward the Local Plan before making any further public announcement.

“These options will be presented to councillors for decision, probably later this year.”