Council approves revised High Peak local plan

Web tile council
Web tile council

Councillors voted in favour of publishing a revised version of the controversial High Peak Local Plan at a highly charged meeting in Buxton.

As previously reported, the authority voted against publishing a previous version of the long-awaited document on March 18.

Speaking at the Octagon on Tuesday, Cllr John Pritchard spoke out against the proposal, saying: “My feeling is that this failure to engage with the public defies the spirit of the local plan. What we are voting on tonight is unsound and I shall be voting against it. If that means reporting me to the standards committee then so be it.”

Cllr Dave Lomax, agreed, saying he could not support the plan as he did not believe that the council had “explored all possible sites for development”, as stated in the report.

But, Cllr John Faulkner disagreed, saying: “I think the public have a very low opinion of politicians and we’ve just reinforced that. If we can’t show sensibility and flexibility, it’s a very bad thing. That’s why we’re held in such bad favour. The question now is is the plan sound and presumably the officers and the executive think it is. The management of the local plan process from High Peak has been a shambles. They’ve shown no leadership whatsoever. I do criticise the chief executive for not getting more involved and making sure the plan is scrutinised with decisions made rather than leaving everything to the last minute. The important thing now is to get on with the local plan and I’m voting for it.”

The submission version of the local plan will be published for a minimum of six weeks on April 23 in order to invite representations on the soundness of the document, prior to its submission in July, with a view to adopting it in March.

Significant changes to the document include amending the plan period to 2011 to 2031 and increasing the borough’s housing requirement to 360 dwellings per annum.

The latest plan proposes 1,072 houses be built in Glossopdale, 697 in central, which includes Chapel-en-le-Frith, New Mills and Whaley Bridge and 1,331 in Buxton.