Government inspector tells Calderdale Council to increase target and build 1,000 new homes a year

Calderdale Council has been told to build more homes per year it set out in its Local Plan
Calderdale Council has been told to build more homes per year it set out in its Local Plan

The Planning Inspector has told Calderdale Council to up its original target of how many homes it needs to build per year under the Local Plan.

The Council’s draft Local Plan has moved a step closer to being officially adopted following the end of the first stage of examination by the Planning Inspector.

The stage one hearings were to examine the vision and strategy on which the Local Plan is based; the housing and employment need in Calderdale, sustainability appraisal and the need for gypsy and traveller facilities.

The examination hearings were led by an independent Planning Inspector, Katie Child, who was appointed by the Secretary of State for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

The Planning Inspector has now written to the Council outlining areas of the draft Local Plan which will need to be revised before the next stage of examination begins.

The Inspector concluded that the housing need in the borough is higher than the 840 homes per year that the Council proposed within the draft Local Plan and that a more realistic figure could be around 1000 new homes annually.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Resources, Councillor Jane Scullion said: “We are committed to getting the Local Plan adopted as soon as possible to ensure that policies are in place to manage development in Calderdale effectively.

“We are pleased that the Inspector has only expressed significant concerns about one aspect of the Local Plan.

“We will now ensure the housing figures align more closely with our economic strategy, which could make it necessary to identify additional housing sites within the borough.

“If we conclude more housing land is required we will hold a public consultation before the next stage of the Local Plan hearings.”

The hearings also examined how the Council has worked with neighbouring councils and reviewed the extensive public consultation which was undertaken with communities during the preparation of the Local Plan.

The stage two hearings are planned for Autumn 2019 and will examine the spatial development strategy and the suitability of individual site allocations.