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Local Plan will move one step closer to becoming a reality

Local Plan to move one step closer at next Cabinet meeting
Local Plan to move one step closer at next Cabinet meeting

Calderdale's Local Plan, produced by the council, will move a step closer when the Cabinet discusses the final draft at next week's meeting.

The government requires councils to produce a Local Plan which identifies land to meet their requirements for new housing and economic development, over the next 15 years.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning, Housing and Environment, Coun Daniel Sutherland said: “The Local Plan will allow us to develop and grow whilst protecting and improving the landscape and heritage which we all enjoy, and which makes Calderdale so distinctive. It will help our entrepreneurial spirit to thrive and help us to retain talent locally by supporting the creation of good quality and highly skilled employment within the borough.

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“It will also help us to ensure that everyone has access to a decent home and that people are able to travel within and beyond the borough safely and easily. This is a Local Plan for our communities, so we can plan for their needs now and for future generations.”

The government requires local councils to produce a Local Plan which identifies land to meet their requirements for new housing and economic development, over the next 15 years. The Council is meeting its clear commitment, agreed at Full Council in December 2017, to bring its draft Local Plan for agreement by summer 2018.

The Council has calculated that it needs to identify sites for around 12,600 new homes, averaging 840 per year until 2033. Taking into account housing developments which have already been approved, Calderdale will actually require enough sites to provide just under 9500 new homes.

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The proposed sites are now shown in the draft Local Plan, which allocates areas which are suitable for housing or economic growth, whilst at the same time protecting over 99% of Calderdale’s green belt and surrounding countryside from development.

The draft Local Plan has already been through two formal public consultations, in 2015/16 and again in 2017, which has influenced the proposals as they have developed. The most recent consultation resulted in over 8000 individual comments from local people across the whole borough. These have all been carefully analysed and considered by the Council before the final draft of the Local Plan was prepared.

If the report is agreed by the Cabinet, it will then be recommended to the Council that the draft Local Plan should be published at 9am on Friday 10 August.

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This recommendation will be considered by the Council at an Extraordinary Council meeting on June 21. Councillors will also be asked to approve a six week period when it will be possible to make formal representations, or comments, on the plan following its publication. This will close at 5pm on Monday 24 September.

The Council 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 comments from the public, submitted in December 2018.

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Calderdale’s Local Plan will then be examined in detail by an independent Planning Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State. The examination could last around nine months.

Adoption of the plan by Calderdale Council, following receipt of the Inspector’s Report, is expected to be confirmed by the end of 2019.

The Cabinet will consider the report on the draft Local Plan at the next meeting, which will take place at 6pm on Monday 11 June at Halifax Town Hall.

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