Homes plan: Whaley gets new chance to have a say

An announcement from High Peak Borough Council on 2 January could become a sounding board for opinion in Whaley Bridge, where there is growing concern over – and already some opposition to –  the proposed 107 homes  development on a 16 acre greenfield site off Macclesfield Road  (see earlier reports on this website and the Forum).

A press release from the borough council draws the attention of High Peak residents to the opportunity to make comments on additional changes to a crucial document that will shape future development in the borough for the period to 2031.

The press release adds:

‘The council is working on a new Local Plan that will earmark land for housing, employment and community uses whilst protecting the countryside against unsuitable development. Once adopted, the Plan will be used to determine planning applications.

‘The council consulted on a Preferred Options version of the Plan in February 2013 and has now launched a further consultation asking for the public’s views on potential changes to that Preferred Options version.

‘These changes include:

*           Increasing the number of homes that should be built across the borough

*           Considering additional sites that could be allocated for housing development

*           Minor changes to the green belt

*           Other changes to land designated for employment, retail, education or green spaces

*           Some significant policy changes relating to retailing, parking and the environment

‘The proposed changes have been necessary largely because of recent evidence showing a higher need for new homes than previously planned for and an expectation from government that councils meet their full need for housing.’

Cllr  Godfrey Claff, executive member for regeneration, urged people to get involved in the consultation: “The Local Plan is the key document which will determine how the High Peak develops for the best part of two decades.  It is regrettable that the council now has to consider significantly increasing the housing provision across the borough due to the government’s drive to promote housing growth, but having a sound Local Plan will put the council in a stronger position to resist unplanned speculative development.

“Before we make any final decisions, we are giving local people the chance to have their say on these proposed changes and I would encourage residents to let us have their views.”

The additional consultation document is available on the website http://highpeak-consult.objective.co.uk/portal or at Buxton Town Hall, Glossop Municipal Buildings and any of the borough’s libraries.

Consultees have until Monday 10 February to respond either online via the link above, by email to LDF@highpeak.gov.uk or in writing to Regeneration, High Peak Borough Council, Town Hall, Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 6EL.

After this current consultation, the council will produce its final draft of the full Local Plan. There will be consultation on that final draft and every household in the borough, as well as a wider range of interested parties, will receive notice of this.

Whaleybridge.com will keep you in touch with future news on the local housing proposal.  Visit the Forum to read the reactions of some local people.  Join in, if you wish.

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