Planning policy failed objectors

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A greenfield site in the heart of the High Peak will be covered with 100 houses because planners failed to prove their own policies were workable, it is claimed.

Barratt Homes have been given the go-ahead to build at Manchester Road/Crossings Road in Chapel-en-le-Frith despite claims by High Peak Borough Council that it had earmarked enough land elsewhere for the area’s housing needs.

But a Government inspector ruled that the sites put forward by the Council were not ready to be developed – highlighting that those without planning permission – such as the former Dorma factory or at Federal Mogul– should not have been included.

Planning Inspector Susan Holland said there was a need for more development land across the borough and a need for affordable homes.

The report said a survey in 2009 identified 61 households in housing need in Chapel and a further 87 households registered as desiring affordable housing – but that it had been several years since any new rented units had been built.

Arguments that the application was premature as work was ongoing to create a Neighbourhood Plan to provide a blueprint for the future development of the town were also dismissed.

The Inspector said there was no core strategy, or up-to-date local planning policy.

She said that with no draft Neighbourhood Plan ready, very little weight could be given to council policy at this time.

The Borough Council are currently going through the decision to determine the implications of the judgement.