Changes to Government guidelines and decisions by planning inspectors are to blame for the confusion and delays around High Peak’s Local Plan, Labour’s Caitlin Bisknell has said.
Delays to the vital document have been heavily criticised recently but Cllr Bisknell said the hold-ups were unavoidable.
“In the last few weeks, never mind months, there have been so many changes that it’s not just that the goalposts have moved – we are now playing on a completely different pitch,” she said.
“Barely a week goes by without a council withdrawing its local plan to gather more evidence to meet either government guidelines and/or the demands of planning inspectors.
“Most recently Derbyshire Dales District Council was told its emerging local plan was not sound and that it needed more evidence.
“On top of that the government’s planning minister is on record as saying that he expects councils to stick to the objectively assessed need for their area. In High Peak that would mean building 400 new homes every year – considerably more than the 270 the council is consulting upon - hence the need for very robust evidence.
“I know that people are concerned about the time this is taking, it’s a concern I share and understand; but in light of the experience of other councils this is the only sensible route the borough council could take.”