Local Plan gets the green light

Article dated Tuesday May 16, 2017 at 11:13 AM

Bradford Council’s Local Plan Core Strategy has been released from its Temporary Holding Direction by Minister of State for Housing and Planning, Gavin Barwell.

Bradford Council’s Executive had been due to adopt the Core Strategy in October last year but following a technical intervention from Shipley MP Philip Davies, the Minister stepped in and blocked the move.

Government has now sent a letter to the Council lifting the Holding Direction which will allow the formal adoption of the Core Strategy by the Full Council.

The letter says: “The Secretary of State acknowledges that the Plan does not alter the existing boundaries of the Green Belt and that any future changes to Green Belt boundaries will be through the preparation of Site Allocations.”

The Core Strategy does not identify individual development sites but sets out broad housing numbers for different settlements and areas for which land will need to be identified in other more detailed plans to follow. The Core Strategy had already been approved by a Government Planning Inspector.

The main thrust of the plan is identifying housing development on brownfield sites. However, the sheer scale of housing needed - as set by central Government - to 2030, means that some areas of green field and Green Belt land will inevitably have to be used.

Coun Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “This is good news for the Bradford District as it means we can get on with adopting the Core Strategy.

“We have worked long and hard on behalf of our residents to ensure that future development in the district complies with Government-set targets.

"The Plan is sustainable and prioritises brownfield sites. Before the Holding Direction was issued, a Government Planning Inspector had already indicated that the plan was sound. Now the Government has accepted the judgement of their own inspector, we can get on with the rest of the process to make sure that development in our district isn’t a developer free-for-all.”

Bradford Council Leader Coun Susan Hinchcliffe said: “From the outset everyone knew that the Local Plan obviously complied with all the planning rules set by Government and therefore it would have been odd for Government to find their own rules defective.

"My biggest concern over this last few months has been that developers would put an application in on Green Belt anywhere in the district and without a Local Plan we would have been powerless to stop them. The Secretary of State confirms our view that Green Belt should only be developed in exceptional circumstances. We agree. We have as much concern about the countryside and want to protect it as much as anyone else.“

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