Bradford Council’s Housing Local Development Plan.
3rd April 2015
The Public Examination of the Local Development Plan has now closed. It turned out to be a bruising experience for groups in the region trying to limit the number of houses to be built in Wharfedale for the 15 year period to 2030. They were up against an extremely well prepared set of developers and legal representatives, who at the outset challenged the cuts to housing numbers / downgrading of settlement status resulting from the application of the “Habitats Regulations”. The Inspector accepted the challenge and insisted that the Council, Natural England and developer representatives resolve the issue. The ensuing private deliberations took most of the Examination to complete but resulted in increased housing for Menston (+200), Burley (+500), Ilkley (+200) and Silsden (+200). The good news for Addingham is that despite strong developer pressure the 15 year housing figure remains at 200…..so far….!!!! Because of the significance of these changes they will be subject to a 6 week public consultation period.
There is no doubt that changes brought in by the Government to facilitate private house building in its “National Planning Policy Framework” have tipped the balance considerably in favour of developers. They also had the financial muscle to employ experienced planning lawyers to dismantle a key element of Bradford’s Plan and open the gates for more housing now and set precedents for further housing allocation in Wharfedale post 2030. It is worrying that Bradford’s Policy crumbled so easily when they presumably took legal advice from their in-house legal team! Even if Addingham’s housing allocation remains at 200, vigilance will be required as developers may seek to exploit the fact that Bradford does not have a Local Development Plan in place and submit housing applications. We will continue to keep you updated.