Some planning powers in very local hands

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Hebden Royd and the hilltop parishes arishes will become a Neighbourhood Area after an application made to Calderdale Council was passed.

The application, which was submitted by Hebden Royd Town Council, Blackshaw Parish Council, Erringden Parish Council, Heptonstall Parish Council and Wadsworth Parish Council was approved at the council’s cabinet meeting on Monday night.

The decision means that those living in the affected communities will take responsibility for local planning - a new power introduced by The Localism Act 2011.

Once a Neighbourhood Area is designated, they have the power to make a Neighbourhood Development Order, which gives the community the authority to grant planning permission withou making an application to the council.

Community groups can also apply for a Community Right to Build Order to ask for permission to develop small sites within specified areas.

Coun Peter Caffrey, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy, said: “We welcome the application from Hebden Royd and the Hill Top Parishes which would allow local people to plan development within their own community.

“These are important decisions which help to shape our towns and villages for the future. They help to support businesses and local enterprise and provide new much needed local housing, whilst at the same time making sure that the green spaces which our communities value and enjoy are protected for later generations.”

Coun Stephen Baines, Conservative Leader of Calderdale Council, added: “I think this is a very positive way forward.”

The council will now work with the Town and Parish Councils on a Neighbourhood Development Plan, which will include planning policies on the development and use of land within an area including where new homes or offices may be built and how they should look.

A report to the Cabinet outlined that the designation of Hebden Royd and the Hill Top parishes as a Neighbourhood Area will be funded by the government’s Neighbourhood Planning Grant - a total of £30,000 which will be released in phases.