Vision for borough as Local Plan consulation looks to be given go-ahead

Green belt land off Thornhills Lane, Clifton.

Leading councillors will decide to give the go-ahead for residents and businesses to comment on plans for the future of housing, employment, infrastructure and open spaces in the borough.

The Cabinet will be asked today (Monday) to agree a six week consultation on the Draft Plan to begin in July 2017.

This will give local residents, businesses and landowners the opportunity to comment, but also to put forward further information and evidence about possible sites for development.

The Draft Plan will then be reviewed in the light of the consultation results and a final draft agreed around Christmas time.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning, Housing and Environment, Councillor Daniel Sutherland said: “The draft Local Plan is intended to provide a new vision for Calderdale, allowing us to balance sustainable housing and economic growth with our responsibility to protect our environment and the green spaces which we all enjoy.

“We need to put a robust and credible document in place to allow us to plan carefully where we build new homes, how we develop new employment opportunities and make sure that we have in place the public facilities which will help Calderdale to thrive.

“If we do not agree a plan, then it will be easier for developers in the future to get permission for piece meal developments in communities across the whole borough.

“The draft plan is based on the best technical advice about where development could be allowed.

“Eighteen months ago the Council set out all the sites that had been put forward as possible sites for development; based on that consultation, and also on technical assessments, over half of those sites have now been ruled out. But that still leaves some difficult choices.

“We are now at the stage where we would like to hear a wide range of views from local people.”

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 government sets out the rules for estimating new housing requirements, and the latest figures indicate that Calderdale will need over 17,000 new houses by 2032.

The Draft Local Plan identifies the most likely sites where new development, including housing, employment, new schools and community facilities, parks and open space would be allowed and the areas which would remain as green belt. It also provides detailed policy for the determination of planning applications.

The Draft Local Plan seeks to make the most efficient use of brownfield sites and urban areas across Calderdale and suggests 54 hectares of brownfield land should be brought forward for new development.

Sixty hectares of land are allocated in the draft for new employment space, including 25 hectares at Clifton on land within the Enterprise Zone.

It is expected that this will support the creation of 6,000 new jobs in Calderdale over the next 15 years.

The Council is already working with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership to transform the site at Clifton into a regionally significant business park to house Calderdale’s growing firms, whilst also attracting new businesses from outside the region.

The Council will submit the Local Plan following its final consultation, together with comments from the public, to the Secretary of State in Spring 2018.

Adoption of the plan by Calderdale Council is expected to be confirmed by the end of 2018.

To find out more visit the Local Plan page on our website.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet will consider the report at the meeting to be held at Halifax Town Hall at 6pm.

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