Possible final stage of Local Plan hearings set to take place next month

The fourth and possibly final stage of hearings into Calderdale’s draft Local Plan is expected to take place in late September.

Tuesday, 10th August 2021, 3:02 pm
Aerial view of Brighouse

Calderdale Council’s Planning Lead Officer, Richard Seaman, said in that case if events went as expected – and accepting there was an element of “crystal ball gazing”, it is possible councillors would be asked to approve the plan early next year.

The council’s Place Scrutiny Board had asked for a report on whether proceedings were on track and where they were at.

“Literally in the last few days we have confirmed the dates with the Inspector for what we hope is the final stage four hearings at the end of September,” said Mr Seaman.

He said the fourth phase of hearings were likely to include further considering air quality, habitat regulation assessments and conclude issues over housing supply that have featured at every stage of the process so far.

Like previous hearings they will be overseen by Planning Inspector Katie Child, who has been appointed by the Government to carry out the examination process and will ultimately decide whether or not the plan, which could see around 9,970 new homes built in Calderdale into the 2030s, is “sound.”

After phase four of the hearings, Mr Seaman said the likely next steps would be receipt of a latter from the Inspector giving her views, drawing up of main modifications which might be considered necessary and publicising these over a six week period.

Further hearings could then be scheduled if the Inspector thought any were necessary, after which the Inspector would said a final letter summarising her views.

Mr Seaman said Cabinet would then be asked to make a recommendation on the plan, with the responsibility of approving it being given to all councillors at a full council meeting early next year.