First let's say what it isn't
It is NOT a set of Planning Applications from developers to build houses, that is a totally separate process and comes much later, depending on the outcome of the Local Plan. Planning applications go before Planning Officers or the Council Planning Committee and are determined by them alone, often to the frustration of local residents.
So what is it?
Central government require every council to have an adopted Local Plan which sets out plans and policies for how they will deliver housing, employment, infrastructure, services and more over the 15-year life of the plan. If the council does not have an adopted plan within a reasonable time scale, the Secretary of State will enforce one. The main driver for a plan is the number of houses that the borough needs. More people need more houses, roads, schools, doctors, green spaces and the like.
The Calderdale Local Plan has taken many years to produce and is a huge and complex document. It has gone through several stages determined by law, the latest of which was the consultation on the Draft version in August/ September 2017. Following that consultation, the Council reviewed the comments (about 3000 for Shelf and Northowram, by far the largest of any other Ward) and, taking account of a revised housing target from Government, have produced the final version, called a ‘Published Local Plan’.
The Published Local Plan will be released for final consultation on 10 Aug 2018 until 24 Sept 2018. Following consultation, the Council will gather together all Local Plan documents with supporting information and comments and then submit the whole thing, unaltered, to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State will then appoint an independent inspector to carry out a public examination where every facet of the plan can be scrutinised and challenged. We, as SNLPF, intend to have a say in that examination.
The process will take many months, at the end of which the inspector will decide whether the plan is ‘sound’, ‘unsound’ or could be altered to make it 'sound'. Only a ‘sound’ plan can be adopted by the Council.
- In the Draft version of the plan, Shelf and Northowram (excluding Claremount) were due to get 1916 new houses.
- Following all your comments, the Published version has reduced this to 576 houses.
Your comments do make a difference
- Despite housing numbers being reduced, there are still many urban sites elsewhere not being included due to their size.
- 94% of the houses for Shelf and Northowram are on to be built on Greenbelt. We are losing our fields and woodland while small, unpopular sites in town centres remain undeveloped.
- 576 houses are still a significant number and more than our fair share of the housing burden.