Inspector endorses plan for Bradford green belt release

An inspector has backed Bradford Metropolitan District Council's proposals to release land from the green belt to provide thousands of new homes.

Bradford: inspector's report on local plan has been published (picture: Neil Turner, Flickr)
Bradford: inspector's report on local plan has been published (picture: Neil Turner, Flickr)

In a report on the council’s core strategy development plan document, published yesterday by the local authority, inspector Stephen Pratt concluded that the document provides an appropriate basis for the planning of the district, providing that a number of main modifications are made.

The local plan proposes to make provision to allocate land for at least 42,100 homes between 2013 and 2030, with an annual requirement of 2,200 homes.

In his report, the inspector said he was satisfied that the housing requirement figure "fully meets the objectively assessed need for market and affordable housing over the plan period".

The local plan proposes to set an overall target of 50 per cent of new housing on brownfield land, but acknowledges that not all the required development can be accommodated on brownfield sites due to issues of suitability, availability, viability and deliverability, and some development will have to take place on greenfield sites, including the green belt.

In his report, the inspector said that evidence in the council’s strategic housing land availability assessment (SHLAA) "confirms that insufficient land can be identified outside of the green belt to fully meet identified housing needs; some 11,000 dwellings are likely to have to be accommodated on green belt land, given the availability and constraints on non-green belt land".

The core strategy proposes that a selective review of the green belt will be undertaken in a subsequent site allocations development plan document, which will be undertaken within the strategic framework provided by the core strategy.

The inspector’s report said that some participants in the examination had argued that a full review of the green belt is needed, while some had suggested a wider review of the sub-regional green belt in collaboration with neighbouring authorities.

However, the inspector’s report added: "Given the underlying strategy of the core strategy, with its focus on specific areas, and in view of the different stages that adjoining local plans are at, this is neither practicable nor necessary."

Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s executive member for regeneration, said: "We're pleased the inspector has backed our approach to prioritise brownfield development but there will be some tough decisions to be made about green belt land, which is why we're encouraging as many people as possible to take part in further consultations on the land allocations document."

The inspector’s report is available here.

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