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Full council meeting to consider Local Plan

Derbyshire Dales councillors will meet on 8 December ahead of a new Local Plan for the district being submitted to the Secretary of State for an examination in public.

In a final six-week consultation that ended last month, local people were invited to comment on a pre-submission draft of the Plan featuring 6,571 new homes on 28 residential sites - 15 in the central area of the Dales and 13 in the southern area.

Officers are currently working through representations received and any modifications will be considered by full council in December at a meeting in Matlock (6pm). A Government Inspector is expected to deliver a verdict on the Plan next year.

Cllr Lewis Rose OBEWriting in the upcoming edition of Dales Matters, a residents' newsletter that is delivered to all 34,000 homes in the Dales, District Council Leader Councillor Lewis Rose OBE states:

"The final public consultation on our draft Local Plan has now closed – and on behalf of all my fellow councillors I want to thank everyone who has contributed to this vital process.

"Nothing divides opinion more than where new housing should be built and it has come as no surprise to be on the receiving end of very strong opinions from local people at a series of council and public meetings over recent months.

"I think most of us accept that new housing is needed, not only to benefit our children and grandchildren, but also to bolster the economic prosperity of the district. Where those new home should be built is the big issue of course – but Government are adamant we must provide for the estimated needs of the Dales up to the year 2033.

"Once approved the Local Plan will guide development in the Dales for the next 17 years and also help protect one of the most beautiful districts in the whole of the UK."

The District Council has involved local people in a series of consultations since a previous version of the Plan was withdrawn two years ago after an Inspector ruled that the number of new homes proposed at that time - 4,400 - was 2,000 homes short of what was needed.

In January and February this year draft Local Plan policies and a new housing target figure were agreed, and provisional sites allocated.

Of the 6,571 new homes that could be allocated in the Local Plan, around 2,200 have already been built or have the benefit of planning permission. It is anticipated a further 400 new homes will be built by 2033 in parts of the Derbyshire Dales that lie inside the Peak District National Park, where the District Council does not control development.

So the designated development sites, once approved, will need to accommodate the majority of around 3,600 new homes over the next 17 years to keep up with a predicted population growth of 8.4% and economic growth that could see around 1,700 new jobs delivered across the district.

Affordable housing

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