The second stage of hearings into Calderdale Council’s Local Plan may not happen before January next year.
In a response to Planning Inspector Katie Child’s letter to Calderdale after the first phase of hearings closed earlier in the summer, the council’s Planning Lead Richard Seaman says the likely timescale going forward means that in practical terms it is unlikely the second phase will start before January or February 2020.
Ms Child is conducting the hearings into proposals which will shape where new homes and businesses are built in Calderdale up to 2032 and will need to sign off the plan having been appointed by Government.
The first phase of the hearings, held at Shelf Village Hall in June and July, considered issues including estimates for housing supply and business development.
The second phase will examine suitability of individual sites earmarked in the plan, in Calderdale’s case, once sites for new homes which have already been given planning permission are taken into account, space for about about 9,500 new dwellings.
After phase one Ms Child wrote to the concern highlighting her concern that not enough homes may be planned in correlation with Calderdale’s ambitious economic development plans.
In his letter to the inspector, Mr Seaman said the council welcomed the fact she had only expressed significant concerns about one matter at this stage, and accordingly, the council had commissioned analytics company Turley to carry out further analysis and updated modelling to establish labour force growth which might be expected to occur where the plan’s modelling of 840 new homes a year was delivered.
Ms Child had indicated a higher figure of around 1,000 new homes a year might be needed.
Turley would also remodel housing growth needed to support baseline job forecasts and a draft report from the company was expected by August 26.
As increased numbers of homes would mean identifying additional sites, a six week consultation would be needed to consider these following a report the council’s Cabinet is unlikely to see before its September meeting.
That would take the timescale to late November and in this light the council considered it not practical the second phase of hearings could be opened before 2020, wrote Mr Seaman.