High Peak local plan under spotlight again

Web tile council
Web tile council

High Peak councillors meet on Wednesday to consider potential housing sites and housing numbers as part of the latest stage in the development of the borough’s local plan.

The council’s current preferred target of building an average of 270 homes per year is unlikely to be considered sustainable in the light of new evidence, Government guidelines and decisions handed down by Government planning inspectors.

High Peak Council executive member for regeneration Cllr Godfrey Claff said: “The Government has consistently said councils must build to meet their housing need. High Peak’s independently assessed need forecasts that the borough’s population will grow by in excess of 400 families a year.

“That means the inspector will expect us to show that we intend to build an average of over 400 new houses a year, across the Borough, over the 15 years of the new local plan.

“Given the work we have done in collecting evidence from the seven independent studies, carrying out our own investigations and talking to all our neighbouring authorities, we believe that this figure is unjustifiable and we will fight as hard as we can to reduce it. However, the Government has sealed off every angle and it will be difficult. This is very much a David and Goliath situation and we are fighting hard to achieve what we know the community wants.”

The full council will approve the final draft of the local plan in February and it will then go out for a fourth and final round of public consultation before being submitted to the Government planning inspector next autumn.