After two years of preparation and extensive public consultation, district councillors have approved the contents of a new Local Plan for the Derbyshire Dales.
The District Council agreed by a majority vote last night (Thursday 8 December) that the Plan - which will guide development in the Dales for the next 17 years - was ready for submission to the Secretary of State.
- View the Derbyshire Dales Local Plan Pre-Submission Draft Plan [PDF 16MB]
The Plan features 6,571 new homes on 28 residential sites - 15 in the central area of the Dales and 13 in the southern area.
The meeting agreed minor modifications following a six-week public consultation that ended in September, and the Plan itself will be submitted on Thursday next week.
The Inspectorate will decide the date of an Examination in Public, which is likely to be February or March next year.
Describing Thursday's debate as one of the best he had heard, Councillor Lewis Rose OBE, Leader of the District Council, told fellow councillors and a full public gallery:
"We have debated the whole concept of a Local Plan over a long time with the public and with each other. I hope we can reach some closure so far as the District Council is concerned tonight and let the public have their say with the Inspector.
"The public engagement in this process has been first class and I'm sure it's going to be of an even higher standard when it comes to the Inspector because there is the real opportunity to argue the points you have put forward so very well."
Thursday’s meeting was streamed live on the District Council’s YouTube channel and the video archive can be viewed below.
The District Council has involved local people in a series of consultations since a previous version of the Plan was withdrawn two years ago after an Inspector ruled that the number of new homes proposed at that time - 4,400 - was 2,000 homes short of what was needed.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.