Local Plan hearings mapping out thousands of new Calderdale homes set to resume

The next stage of hearings into Calderdale’s draft Local Plan will stretch into late autumn.

By John Greenwood - Local Democracy Reporter
Friday, 24th September 2021, 7:00 am
Calderdale Local Plan hearing are set to resume
Calderdale Local Plan hearing are set to resume

Two days of hearings will be held by Planning Inspector Katie Child next week, on September 29 and September 30, with a further reserve session if needed on October 1.

But one subject due to be considered will not now be heard until a separate hearing session in late October or at the beginning of November.

This is to consider air quality work done for a Habitat Regulation Assessment and has been postponed from next week’s hearings as Calderdale Council is in the process of preparing a Statement of Common Ground with Natural England – this is the government’s adviser for the natural environment in England – on the issue.

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In the meantime the hearing programme will being on Wednesday, September 29, with the morning (10am start) session devoted to the issue of air quality generally, with the afternoon session (2pm start) being set aside for if the morning session overruns.

Then on Thursday, September 30, the morning session will be given over to consideration of waste sites and regeneration action areas – these are where permission for homes to be built might be given to enable younger people particularly to live in the area they were brought up in.

The afternoon session will be given over to an issue which has featured at every stage of the hearings, housing supply.

Participants in the housing supply session include groups, some also appearing at the other sessions, who have challenged the council’s methodology on this and include the Greetland Pressure Group, Clifton Village Forum, Calderdale Friends of the Earth, Woodhouse Residents Association as well as individual participants including Amanda Tattersall and Jason Carlton.

These issues, including potential impact on air quality large humbers of homes might have, have been controversial particularly in south east Calderdale.

Coun Jacob Cook (Con, Greetland and Stainland) said he was hopeful green belt could be protected following a decision by Ms Child in the third stage of hearings in the spring to exclude a green belt site from the draft plan.

“This decision by the Inspector is hugely significant in the campaign to protect the green belt land off Saddleworth Road,” he said.

Work done by campaigner Lyndsey Ashton, who has spoken at the hearings, deserved huge credit, he said.

“As a newly elected councillor, I am determined to stop these damaging plans and am very optimistic about our chances of success following this important development,” said Coun Cook.

Sessions will be held using Zoom and will be live streamed on the council’s YouTube page for people to watch – participants have already logged their attendance.

The council hopes the plan – which would determine where around 9,700 new homes might be built in Calderdale into the 2030s – will be approved by the Inspector and be enacted next year.

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