It had been hoped they would begin in the middle of May but dates are still to be confirmed and the intention is to hold the Stage 3 Hearings, with Planning Inspector Katie Child presiding, the following month.
These hearings will consider matters raised during stage two of the hearings which took place in virtual form last autumn and winter, including considering questions she had raised and more evidence she required about infrastructure, housing supply and habitat.
The plan, if approved by the inspector, will shape where new homes – around 9,970 of them – and businesses can be built into the 2030s.
At April’s meeting of the full Calderdale Council, Conservative group leader Coun Steven Leigh (Ryburn) asked Cabinet member for Regeneration and Strategy, Coun Jane Scullion about progress relating to actions Planning Inspector Katie Child wanted the council to undertake before the third phase of hearings.
“In your report on planning and building control you have a comment that the Local Plan is continuing on its path towards the third and hopefully final set of hearings after the local elections.
“My question is there were some 180 or so queries from the inspector asking for tasks to be performed prior to the next phase.
“Could you provide an update on the progress being made? Is the number down to less than a hundred yet?”
Coun Scullion (Lab, Luddenden Foot) said the council’s team had been working flat out to get the actions done.
“As they complete pieces of work it is posted on the Local Plan website which would give you an updated figure.
“I am sorry I cannot tell you exactly the number but we are confident we will get through them all – many smaller ones were done early.
“I am confident and the team are confident they will get through them,” she said.
Coun Regan Dickensen (Con, Rastrick) said a lot of the problems at stage two of the plan discussions arose because some pieces of work had been delivered late and this did not give enough time for interested parties to comment on them, and sought assurances this would not be the case in phase three.
Coun Scullion said documents would be provided as early as they possibly could be; there had been particular reasons why some had been delayed but the aim was to give the democratic processes as much space and time as possible.