High Peak Local Plan Adoption

High Peak Local Plan AdoptionHigh Peak Local Plan Adoption : Last night (Thursday 14th April) saw an extraordinary meeting of the full council, to consider and once considered adopt the local plan.

As can be seen by clicking here, the report on the council’s website for the meeting stretches to 582 pages, and includes the local plan and the inspectors report, along with the modifications and changes to the plan to meet the requirements for it to be adopted.

Whilst the local plan is considered by most, to be solely about the allocation of housing sites across the High Peak, the plan is actually much more than just housing sites including a whole host of policies to cover everything from parking standards, to employment land allocations, but as I commented in my remarks at the council meeting (posted below for information), despite the wide range and many stages of consultation the local plan has been through, to get its final stamp of approval so it can be adopted it has to be approved by the inspector, as been consistent with and abiding by the Government’s planning principles and policies as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework.

Following it’s adoption last night, an adoption statement will now be produced with notification going out to those that who have requested it, with one final hurdle remaining before it is fully in force, a six week period where it can be challenged in the High Court, where anyone who is aggrieved by the Local Plan may make an application to the High Court under Section 113 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 on the grounds that the document is not within the appropriate power and/or procedural requirements have not been complied with.

However given that the plan has been approved by the inspector as meeting the requirements, I expect such a challenge is unlikely.

My remarks – extraordinary full council meeting for the adoption of the High Peak Local Plan

Mr Mayor

I would begin by express my thanks to staff for their dedications and commitment in keeping the local plan process moving forward to its final stage (for now) of adoption

I particularly want to place on record my thanks to the former portfolio holder Cllr Claff who despite the shameful personal attacks perpetrated by some in this chamber in the past kept us on the right path that has led to tonight’s recommendation to adopt the local plan.

And in that fashion I am also grateful to the controlling group that the much touted in their ‘local election manifesto and leaflets ‘urgent review’ of the local plan did little to damage or further delay the work previously done.

The local plan whilst oft talked of as a prime example of ‘localism’ was anything but with the more or less constant changes to the NPPF and the pressures from the Government to promote house building requiring just about every viable site to be included to meet the requirements for it be approved by the inspector regardless unfortunately in some cases whether there was local support for that site or the impact it may have.

That said I’m sure we all but especially colleagues on Development Control will welcome the adoption and the greater range of options that it may allow in considering unsuitable application, however whilst we may breathe a sigh of relief that the plan is place the changes been considered by the current government may place that relief in jeopardy

Especially with some of the consultations teeming from the poorly considered housing and planning bill that is currently been mauled and corrected by the House of Lords which is promoting ideas such as granting planning permission in principle along with further attacks on local councils by way of considering if other bodies should be given the work and fees currently connected with planning application – but with local planning authorities still charged with making the final determination.

Yet while government still touts local councils as the problem in encouraging building of new homes, there is still little support from them to introduce harsher penalties and options for local councils to take action against those developers that have planning approval but have yet to exercise that approval and that is particularly gulling for local residents seeing green fields been built on when eyesore like the former Samas Roneo on the edge of my ward slowly disintegrate despite having planning permission for housing on the site.

Finally, Mr Mayor whilst there may be some gloom in the air we should welcome and note our success in surviving the process and to that end I particular welcome the continued support within the plan for a new station at Gamesley and Chapel en le Frith and I particularly want to work with officers to progress the Gamesley scheme.

Protection of local green spaces at George St in Glossop and in Padfield along with the ‘strategic gap’ between Hadfield, Gamesley and Glossop, and similar protected wedges across the High Peak, and lastly I welcome the support given to protect land at the rear of Cottage Lane from building which as a former part of my ward that has seen a variety of attempts to promote it as a suitable site from illegal feeling of trees to more legal methods despite there been other more suitable sites locally.

The Labour Group supports the recommendation to adopt the local plan.