Key decisions about Calderdale’s Local Plan will be taken by mid-October in readiness for the next stage of examination by the Government’s Planning Inspector.
The Independent Planning Inspector Katie Child, wrote to the Council after the end of the first stage of examination.
The Inspector expressed concern on only one aspect of the draft Local Plan based upon our evidence base on economic growth and housing demand, concluding that the housing need in the borough is likely to be higher than the 840 homes per year that the Council proposed.
The letter proposed that a more realistic figure could be at least 1000 new homes annually.
In response the Council commissioned further analysis into the relationship between population change, economic growth and housing need. Work has then followed to consider the results and how the requirement for new housing can be met sustainably and with the minimum impact on the Green Belt.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Resources, Councillor Jane Scullion said: “It’s essential that we balance our need for new homes and sustainable economic growth with our responsibility to protect Calderdale’s distinctive landscapes and green spaces.
“Every decision we take must consider and mitigate any potential impact on the environment.”
If changes are approved by the Cabinet there will be a further opportunity for the public to make comments before the Planning Inspector holds the next hearings early in 2020.
Any significant changes to the Local Plan can only be made by the Inspector; however the Council is able to raise potential changes during the examination process.
The Cabinet has already approved tough new targets to tackle climate change within the Local Plan after declaring a climate emergency in January 2019.
The Inspector will be asked to update the Climate Change chapter of the Local Plan to include a commitment within Calderdale to reduce greenhouse gases by 60% to 2032 compared to levels in 2005. This will be discussed with the Inspector during the second stage of examination hearings.