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Local Plan Statement

A statement from Councillor Lewis Rose OBE:

"Following receipt of the Examining Inspector's note, the District Council is currently considering its position in order to determine how to progress with the Derbyshire Dales Local Plan.

"All we can say ahead of that decision is that this Plan has been many years in the making and from the start of the process the District Council has listened carefully to the wishes of local communities by limiting the extent of new house building in the Derbyshire Dales while also protecting, as far as possible, greenfield sites from development.

"Against this backdrop here in the Dales, national policy - endorsed in the last week by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander – outlines a radical approach of more than doubling the rate of house building in the country. Government believes up to 300,000 new houses every year are needed due to a reported increase in the numbers of younger people being forced to rent because they cannot afford to buy a home.

"The Inspector's initial conclusions support this national policy and inevitably put the District Council in the unenviable position of trying to reconcile the strongly held views of local people with a pro-growth national planning policy framework. It's a difficult balancing act, the outcome of which will undoubtedly displease some of our residents.

"Most other districts are facing a similar barrier to adopting Local Plans that fit local views. Amber Valley's Local Plan examination was suspended by the Inspector in April 2014 because their housing targets were too low, Bolsover's examination was suspended by the Inspector in May 2014, Derby's Local Plan is on hold due to housing target concerns and South Derbyshire is also affected.

"Other districts have paid out hundreds of thousands of pounds in costs to applicants in planning appeals lost on the basis of not having a Local Plan with adequate housing land supply. We are therefore not alone in being forced by the Government to make decisions unpopular with local people.

"To get our Local Plan adopted by the Government - and protect as soon as possible the Derbyshire Dales from opportunistic development - the District Council may have to consider increasing the number of allocated development sites to meet the Inspector's view of what is needed up to 2028.However, I can assure the communities of the Derbyshire Dales that any decisions to allocate further land for development, will only be taken following full public consultation."

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