As reported in the local and National Press, the draft Durham Local Plan has come under fire by its Planning Inspector over ambitious growth scnarios that have echoes in Northumberlands proposals: Inspector-savages-durham-local-plan (paste Inspector savages Durham local plan into google for unrestricted article).
Planning Resource Magazine states that ‘In his interim findings on the draft document, inspector Harold Stephens was critical of many of its key aspects.
The letter said that the plan’s “reliance on high employment growth and associated high levels of in-migration that is built into the preferred economic scenario represents an unacceptable risk which I cannot support on the basis of the evidence before me”.
As such, he added, “it brings into question whether there would be a potential degree of housing over-provision derived from this element of the jobs target”.
The inspector said a “more cautious jobs growth target, reducing the reliance on in-migration, would be a more realistic and deliverable scenario that would reduce the evident risk that the planned level of housing might well be forthcoming but the anticipated jobs may not”.
The letter also said that the council’s approach to focus development in and adjacent to the City of Durham “necessitates huge releases of green belt land around the city, which I cannot support”.
Planning Resource Magazine, 18 February 2015 by Michael Donnelly
With the period for public comments having just closed on the Northumberland Local Plan, with its vision of housing growth in excess of that predicted by the Office of National Statistics, and consequent release of Green Belt land to accommodate this aspiration, it will be intersting to see what view of the Northumberland Inspector will have. HCS objected to the deletion of Green Belt at Hexham – in particular the removal of the large Shaws Farm site from the present Green Belt boundary.
The story is also covered in the Newcastle Journal here.