Local Plan Watch: Harrogate plan found sound after housing target cut and 24 sites dropped

A planning inspector has found the Harrogate local plan sound after the local authority followed his advice that its housing target should be reduced by 16 per cent and 24 site allocations removed.

Harrogate Council offices (pic:  Tim Green, Flickr)
Harrogate Council offices (pic: Tim Green, Flickr)

Harrogate Borough Council submitted its local plan for examination in August 2018. Examination hearings were held in January and February last year.

Inspector Richard Schofield raised concerns about a series of site allocations in the plan, including those proposed in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and recommended that they be removed.

Schofield noted that the draft plan made provision for the delivery of 15,836 homes, well above the housing requirement of 14,049. "The housing requirement could easily be met even with their removal and there has been no suggestion that five-year housing land supply would be compromised," he said.

A total of 24 site allocations, where almost 1,800 homes were proposed, have since been removed from the plan after a consultation on main modifications took place last year.

The overall housing target has also been reduced from 14,049 to 13,377 homes, after the inspector advised of an arithmetical error.

Despite the required changes, the inspector said: "Overall, I conclude that the council has employed a proportionate, objective and sufficiently robust process in selecting the sites for housing development allocated in the plan."

The plan will now be submitted to Harrogate Borough Council’s cabinet and council committees in early March to be approved for formal adoption.

LOCAL PLAN UPDATES

CONSULTATION NEWS

Hampshire: Southampton City Council is consulting on its new draft local plan from 10 February to 19 April.

Merseyside: Wirral Council is holding an issues and options consultation in relation to its new local plan from 27 January to 23 March.

Oxfordshire: Oxford City Council is consulting on main modifications to its local plan from 14 February to 27 March.

West Sussex: Horsham District Council is consulting on its draft local plan from 17 February to 30 March.

EXAMINATION NEWS:

Essex: Planning inspectors wrote to Uttlesford District Council on 10 January to raise "significant concerns" in relation to the soundness of the authority’s draft local plan.

Hertfordshire: Examination of the St Albans local plan has been halted after inspectors raised "serious concerns" about "legal compliance and soundness".


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