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Derbyshire local plan withdrawn over housing delivery glitch

by on December 16, 2015

A Derbyshire planning authority has withdrawn its local plan from public examination after announcing it could no longer demonstrate a five-year supply of sites which would deliver the council’s objectively assessed housing need as set out in its draft Core Strategy.

Amber Valley Borough Council, a semi-rural local authority, has taken that draconian step after telling the planning inspector examining the strategy that discussions in the past month with relevant land owners and site promoters had revealed that fewer homes than originally anticipated would be available over the five years to 2020. Some 310 fewer dwellings were involved, the council reported.

The council told the inspector: “it will not be practical to achieve a demonstrable five-year supply through the identification of further sites for housing development without revisiting its overall strategy for housing growth. It anticipates that the process of reviewing the growth strategy and reaching a conclusion as to an alternative approach, including appropriate public consultation and engagement, will take at least 12 months”.

Alan Cox, Leader of the Council, said: “I am deeply dismayed that such a decision had to be made at the eleventh hour, after so much effort and expenditure on the process by so many.

“Regrettably, however, despite the fact that there are many sites within the borough that have been given planning approval by the council, the council has no powers to force developers to start building the houses, or influence the timeframe over which a site is developed.”

He added: “The council remains fully committed to establishing an up-to-date local pan for Amber Valley, which will provide a robust set of policies and proposals to support housing and economic growth in the borough, whilst at the same time safeguarding and enhancing the environment.”

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Roger Milne

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