Amber Valley is one of only a handful of councils in the Midlands still without an up to date local plan. The council cannot currently demonstrate a 5 year housing land supply, leaving it open to speculative housing applications on brownfield and Greenfield sites. The housing requirement is for 9,770 homes to be delivered between 2011 and 2028.
The examination hearings into the draft Local Plan started on 12th June but the plan very quickly ran into trouble when the inspector interrogated the identified housing sites, the housing trajectory and the projected completions on large housing sites. Of particular concern were the proposals for development North of Denby and the justification for releasing Green Belt land together with the likelihood of this site coming forward given the infrastructure requirements, and the need for a new road junction off the A38.
The inspector continued in her review of the other housing sites and the council's policies with respect to industry, open space and town centres. Planning & Design appeared for clients in respect to two sites, the mixed use site at Alderwasley Mills, the largest mixed use site in the Borough and the site for 40 dwellings at South Wingfield. The inspector expressed her general satisfaction with both these sites and we believe that they will go forward when the plan is adopted.
However, because of the very real concerns over the Green Belt and the delivery of housing land, the inspector has put the plan process on hold pending a Green Belt Review. She has also opened the way for landowners to put their own land forward for development over the coming months and if there are ANY LANDOWNERS with land in Amber Valley they should approach us without delay so that we can advise accordingly. In addition, the way remains open for speculative planning applications and we are working with several landowners to submit planning applications while the opportunity exists. The window for starting a speculative development application has only about 6 months to run.
The timetable for the remainder of the examination is as follows:
• Appointment of Consultants for the Green Belt review: 6th August 2018
• Receipt of Green Belt Review Report : 26th October 2018
• Assessment of reasonable alternatives and selection of additional sites to be allocated in the Local Plan, to committee: 30th January 2019
• Six week consultation on the additional sites: 8th Feb – 22nd March 2019
• Assessment of consultation responses: March/April 2019
• Examination Hearing Sessions resumed: April/May 2019
• Proposed Main Modifications published: June/July 2019
• Inspector's Report : September/October 2019
• Adoption of Plan : December 2019
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