Latest draft of High Peak local plan under spotlight

Web tile council
Web tile council

High Peak councillors will meet next week to consider the latest draft of the borough’s local plan.

If approved at the meeting on Tuesday, there will be a further six weeks of consultation on the proposed inclusion of extra housing sites before a decision is taken by the council on whether to submit the plan to the government.

Government regulations state that each council must commission an independent assessment of housing need which, in High Peak, resulted in a figure of 420 to 470 new dwellings each year.

The council does not believe that this level of house building is possible because of the impact on green belt, flood plains, the national park and the increased pressure it puts on roads.

The council concluded last summer that if every suitable site is included in the plan, it would still only provide an average of 360 houses a year and that is what will be taken to the examination by a government inspector in October.

A review of the green belt in High Peak has also taken place and it was suggested a small section of green belt on Kinder Road in Hayfield be removed but, following consultation, it was recommended that this should not go ahead and that the green belt in the village remains unchanged.

The government expects all councils, if they cannot meet their assessed housing need within their area, to talk to neighbouring councils to check whether they are able and willing to take the shortfall in houses.

The council is, therefore, negotiating with neighbouring councils and Cheshire East Council has agreed to take a total of 500 houses, 25 per year.