Craven District Council has approved the Craven Local Plan at a meeting on December 19.
The Local Plan will now be published after the Christmas and New Year holidays for a six-week period, beginning on January 2, providing an opportunity for people to make representations on whether the plan is sound and meets the tests set out in the National Planning Policy Framework.
Extensive consultation has been carried out on the Local Plan; the council’s planning policy team has considered more than 900 comments made by over 230 people in the most recent consultation on the draft local plan, which took place in June and July 2017. This followed a number of previous workshops, drop-in events and consultations, which have been taking place since 2012.
Councillor Richard Foster, leader of Craven District Council, said: “I’m delighted that our Local Plan is now ready for publication. This has been a very long process and officers and councillors have worked incredibly hard in order to produce a plan that is crucial to the future of Craven.
“This plan sets out how we will deal with vital issues such as homes, employment, education provision, affordable housing, green space, sporting facilities, urban regeneration, transport, air quality, renewable energy and flooding. It provides a sound basis for us to support our communities across the district.”
Councillor John Dawson, chairman of the council’s Spatial Planning sub-committee, thanked his predecessors as chairman and members of the sub-committee, and particularly the council’s Planning Policy team. “They have shown tremendous dedication over a long period of time,” he said.
“This plan is the result of five years of research and policy development and we now feel we have a sound Local Plan to put before members.”
Michael Bedford QC, the council’s barrister, told councillors: “This plan will give the council the planning tools it needs to meet the needs of the area, whilst also respecting the environmental constraints of what is a very special place.”
A number of changes to the plan have been made in response to the most recent consultation, including the allocation of land to the north of Airedale Avenue and Elsey Croft and east of the railway line in Skipton, for a new primary school.
Other proposed changes include a new climate change policy, a policy on specialist housing for older people, and small changes to housing numbers in Settle and Bentham following the closure of Rathmell primary school.
There are also a number of changes to housing site allocations in Skipton, Settle and Bentham, and the area around Skipton Woods is proposed to be designated as Local Green Space.
The Council approved the recommendation for a minimum housing requirement of 4,600 net new dwellings during the plan period from 2012 to 2032 – a net annual average of 230 dwellings per year. This figure includes all the dwellings that have been built or given planning permission since 2012.
The Council also approved recommendations to require developers to provide a minimum of 30% affordable housing, as the latest evidence demonstrated that this level of provision was comfortably viable for the vast majority of sites in the plan area.
Following the end of the six week representation period on 13th February 2018, the Council will prepare a summary of the main issues raised which will be submitted with the plan for examination by a Government-appointed inspector. At the Examination in Public the inspector will examine the plan, the evidence supporting it and representations received and judge whether it is sound and meets its legal requirements.
The Craven Local Plan sets out how land should be used in the future to achieve economic, environmental and social goals. Policies in a local plan will be used to decide planning applications including housing, retail and employment uses up to 2032.
For more information on the Local Plan go to the council’s website: www.cravendc.gov.uk/newlocalplan