Glossop Tories accuse Labour of misleading public

Glossopdale Conservative councillors John Haken and Julie McCabe. Photo contributed.
Glossopdale Conservative councillors John Haken and Julie McCabe. Photo contributed.
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Glossopdale Tory councillors have hit out their Labour counterparts and accused them of hypocrisy over the High Peak Local Plan.

Last week, Glossop’s Labour councillors expressed concerns over raising housing numbers in the document in light of Government guidelines.

At a meeting last Wednesday, members were told the Council’s current preferred target of building an average of 270 homes per year was unlikely to be considered sustainable by the Planning Inspectorate.

As previously reported, Labour’s Godrey Claff, of Howard Town, said that Government inspectors expected the local plan to provide a figure of 400 new houses a year across the borough over 15 years, due to population forecasts.

But, Conservative councillors John Haken and Julie McCabe disputed this, and insisted that 4,050 homes, 270 a year for 15 years, would “easily exceed the likely required need”.

Cllr Haken, of Simmondley, said: “A sensible approach to calculate the number of new homes required in the High Peak, would surely take into account the growth in the population and the number of houses built over say the last 20 years.

According to his calculations based on census data from 2001, he expects the population of the borough to have grown by 3,671, to 94,563, by 2031.

Therefore, working on a basis of two occupants per house would indicate a housing demand of 1,835 houses over the next 20 years.

He said: “The Labour-controlled council is deliberately misleading the public. The council has failed to robustly defend the High Peak’s position in any way and is being led by officers’ decisions. It is time the council leader showed some backbone in defence of the High Peak.”