Warning issued ahead of Brighouse homes planning talks

Land earmarked for development in Clifton and, inset, Robin Tuddenham, chief executive of Calderdale Council
Land earmarked for development in Clifton and, inset, Robin Tuddenham, chief executive of Calderdale Council

The masterplan to create thousands of homes and garden suburbs in Brighouse will be discussed after Calderdale Council was given a written warning from the Government.

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government has handed another letter to the council over its progress of the Local Plan.

Sajid Javid MP sent the letter to the leader of Calderdale Council, Coun Tim Swift on March 23.

The Government requires local councils to produce a Local Plan which identifies land to meet their requirements for new housing and economic development over the next 15 years.

The letter comes before a meeting of the Cabinet Local Plan Working Party next week that will discuss the development in south east Calderdale.

These garden suburbs are opportunities to develop well planned communities, with the inclusion of highways improvements, new schools and a setting filled with green recreational spaces.

A report that will go before the working party states that: “Designing on the scale of a suburb provides opportunities for the creation of more sustainable and innovative communities;

However, it also needs to be recognised that it presents certain challenges and complications - multiple landowners and developers; the need for individual developments to fit into a wider masterplan; the need for development to be phased properly; and the need to ensure that infrastructure is delivered at the appropriate stage.”

Officers will provide a slide presentation to illustrate the design principles that it is considered should inform the development of the garden suburbs.

In November 2017 the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government contacted several local authorities, including Calderdale Council, warning that any significant delays to the adoption of the Local Plan would lead to direct intervention by the Government.

The latest letter said the Government will continue to closely monitor the development of Calderdale’s Local Plan to make sure that it is delivered to an agreed timetable.

Mr Javid said he will not “hesitate to consider how to use the full range his powers” if the council does not meet its deadlines set out by the Government.

Robin Tuddenham, the chief executive of the council, said he was confident the targets will be met.

“Three of the local authorities contacted in November are now faced with intervention by the Government in the preparation of their Local Plan.

“So it’s vital that we continue to make progress on Calderdale’s Local Plan to ensure that it is delivered on time, and we are working to meet the timeline agreed by council.”

The draft Local Plan is due to be published during the summer of 2018, at which time members of the public will be able to make formal representations in response to the plan.

At the end of 2018 the council will submit the Local Plan, together with the comments from the public, to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Calderdale’s Local Plan will then be examined in detail by an independent inspector appointed by the Secretary of State. Adoption of the plan by Calderdale Council, following receipt of the inspector’s report, is expected to be confirmed by the end of 2019.