Planning inspector set to rule on proposal to build thousands of Calderdale homes

After what is likely the final hearing session into Calderdale’s draft Local Plan, the Planning Inspector who will decide whether or not it is sound and should be implemented set out the next steps.

By John Greenwood - Local Democracy Reporter
Monday, 17th January 2022, 7:00 am

Planning inspector Katie Child, who presided over the inquiry sessions, said she hoped the hearing this week – a follow-up on air quality – would be the last one.

Calderdale Council hopes the plan – which will determine where around 9,700 new homes might be built in the borough into the 2030s – will be approved by the Inspector and can be enacted, shaping planning policy.

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A decision will be made on Calderdale's Local Plan

The Inspector’s next step, once a number of ongoing consultations and actions have been completed, will be to send to the council as soon as possible a post-hearing letter setting out her thoughts and whether more modifications will need to be made.

Ms Child said at a closing session with council officers that procedurally if she determined the plan could potentially be turned down there would be a six week period to consider changes which might be required.

One additional issue she will consider is an of issue of roof tax, levied on developers, which the council might use to undertake some work in the Garden Suburbs proposed for the Brighouse area.

Nick Pleasant, of NJL, for Clifton Village Neighbourhood Forum, raised the matter at the final session – the timing and manner criticised by legal adviser to the council, John Barrett.

The Inspector also commented on the lateness of the submission and said the forum’s comments must be submitted in writing to her by January 17.

In terms of existing main modifications she had requested to the plan so far, planning officer John Houston, for the council, said work had been continuing on these and a lot had been completed now.

At the start of the session Mr Pleasant said the Clifton forum still had concerns in terms of the soundness of the plan and asked the Inspector is she was willing for these points to be debated again.

Ms Child said comments had been made during the course of the hearings, she had read submissions including the group’s written position and she understood the forum’s position.

The council would publish further documentation and there would be an opportunity for written representations on that, she said.

“If there is something new then please put it in writing but please do not raise anything you have already raised,” she said.

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