Concers over timetable for housing and garden suburb plan in Brighouse

Lead-in times for developing new homes on Garden Suburb sites in south east Calderdale are overly optimistic, says the inspector running hearings into the borough’s Local Plan.

Friday, 16th July 2021, 11:00 am

Planning Inspector Katie Child has written to Calderdale Council after the third stage of virtual hearings closed last month, at which she voiced concerns about timescales for building on Garden Suburb sites at Woodhouse and Thornhills, both bear Brighouse.

Ms Child had concerns including masterplanning agreement between developers and landowners at Thornhills and some land ownership issues at Woodhouse.

Developers argued matters coluld be resolved quickly, with one telling the hearings they were in a position to put in a planning application to Calderdale Council “within a week” once suitable to do so.

Garden suburb plans for Brighouse
Garden suburb plans for Brighouse

While she says it would be premature to arrive at a definitive conclusion to direct a precise lead-in time at the sites – which may see thousands of new homes built there into the 2030s – Ms Child says there is still some work to be done.

She has asked the council to review lead-in times for both sites “to produce a realistic trajectory” which takes into account this further work, which may also impact on five-year land supply calculations.

Ms Child wrote: “Based on all the evidence that I have seen and heard to date, my view at present is that the lead-in times are overly optimistic and too short…even with a fair wind.”

Once revision work is completed, the revised trajectory should be published for a short period of consultation, she says, and potentially a further hearing session into housing supply could be included in the fourth phase of hearings planned for autumn this year.

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