The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government has handed another written warning to Calderdale Council over its progress of the Local Plan.
Sajid Javid MP sent the letter to the leader of Calderdale Council Councillor Tim Swift on March 23.
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.
This is what Mr Javid said in his letter to the Council.
Following your Council’s persistent failure over many years to get a Local Plan in place, on 16 November 2017, I expressed concerns about the lack of progress your authority has made on plan-making.
The housing White Paper set out that intervention in Local Plans will be prioritised where:
the least progress in plan-making has been made
policies in plans had not been kept up to date
there was higher housing pressure; and
intervention would have the greatest impact in accelerating Local Plan production
We also made clear that decisions on intervention will be informed by the wider planning context in each area (specifically, the extent to which authorities are working cooperatively to put strategic plans in place, and the potential impact that not having a plan has on neighbourhood planning activity).
I gave you the opportunity to put forward any exceptional circumstances by 31 January 2018, which, in your view, justifies the failure to produce a Local Plan under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 regime.
I note that your Council has made some progress since my letter of 16 November 2017.
Whilst this is welcome, your Council still remains without an up to date Local Plan which undermines public confidence in the plan-led planning system.
Therefore I will hold you to account for your Council’s actions.
Your Council needs to continue to meet your published timetable.
I will continue to monitor your progress closely and any further significant delays in meeting your timetable will cause me to have considerable doubt as to whether your Council is doing everything that is necessary in connection with the preparation of its Local Plan.
I will not hesitate to consider how to use the full range of powers Parliament has given me to ensure that a Plan is in place. My officials will continue to engage with your officers.