The final draft of Calderdale Council’s Local Plan that will set out housing development across the borough is set to be published.
It will mark the start of a six-week period during which members of the public may make formal representations on the proposals, and three drop-in sessions where people can discuss the draft plan with planning officers in person have also been arranged, in addition to regular slots at Halifax Customer First.
Councillors approved the final draft of the Local Plan, which will shape where homes and businesses can be built over the next 15 years, at an Extraordinary Council meeting in June.
It has caused controversy, particularly in south east Calderdale, especially over two planned Garden Suburbs in Brighouse which will provide space for more than 3,000 of the 9,500 new homes Government expects the council to have to approve in that time.
But it is an ambitious plan, also identifying areas for economic growth while protecting the green belt and supporting the council’s Vision 2024 – to make it a place where people want to live, work, visit and invest, said Calderdale Council’s Cabinet member for Planning, Housing and Environment, Coun Daniel Sutherland (Lab, Illingworth and Mixenden).
“This is a Local Plan for the future of Calderdale, to protect our heritage, our countryside and the distinctive character of our local communities whilst allowing us to grow sustainably.
“We need new homes so our young people have a bright future here; so that it is a place where they choose to live and, with time, maybe have their own family.
“And we need to encourage investment in Calderdale, so that we can provide good quality, highly skilled jobs within the borough and retain a talented local workforce,” said Coun Sutherland.
“The Local Plan is essential in giving us control, at a local level, over where new homes are built, ensuring we can protect and retain over 99 per cent of Calderdale’s green belt and surrounding countryside from development, for the enjoyment of future generations.
“The Local Plan also ensures we can develop the infrastructure required and secure the investment we need to do this, building upon our success to date.”
The publication of the draft Local Plan on the Council’s website – www.calderdale.gov.uk/localplan – triggers the six week consultation period. Full instructions and guidance on how to make a representation are included on the website.
Coun Sutherland said this is a technical and legal consultation, providing people with an opportunity to comment on three specific aspects of the draft Local Plan – that it is compliant with current legislation, that it is “sound” and that it complies with the Duty to Co-operate.
The three “drop-in” sessions where people can discuss the plan with planning officers are as follows, with each session running from 4pm to 7pm.
On Thursday, August 23, the team will be at Hebden Bridge Library in Cheetham Street; on Monday, September 3, they will be at Brighouse Library in Halifax Road; and on Thursday, September 6, they will be at Halifax Library in Square Road.
Those wishing to see a copy of the plan can do so at any time during the consultation period at Calderdale Libraries.
Officers will be also available to see from 9am to 1pm at Halifax Customer First in Horton Street every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
The representation period will close at 5pm on Monday, September 24.
The council will not be able to amend the draft Local Plan after reviewing the representations made, but they will be included with the draft Local Plan when it is submitted to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government for Examination by an independent Planning Inspector.
Calderdale is following a timetable for publication which was agreed with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, which will see the draft Local Plan, including the representations from the public, submitted in December 2018.
The Local Plan will then be examined in detail by an independent Planning Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State with the examination lasting around nine months.
Adoption of the plan by the council, following receipt of the Inspector’s Report, is expected to be confirmed by the end of 2019.