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Local Plan consultation process continues

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: January 15, 2013

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MORE consultation over plans to build more than 400 new homes in Ashbourne has been scheduled for a meeting at Wirksworth.

People in the Derbyshire Dales who wish to comment on aspects of Derbyshire Dales District Council’s draft local plan will be able to speak during the first part of a meeting at Wirksworth Leisure Centre on Wednesday, January 23.

An hour has been set aside at the start of the meeting to hear the views of people from the district on priority areas for development.

At the end of 2012, a series of meetings were held across the district to allow district councillors to hear the concerns of people in setting the priorities for potential sites in different areas of the Dales to address a shortfall of around 800 new homes that need to be built by the year 2028.

Although no final decisions have yet been made, the district council’s Local Plan Advisory Committee pushed down the priority list a number of sites Ashbourne people felt were unsuitable for new housing development.

Next week’s meeting of the committee will make recommendations to a full meeting of the district council on Thursday, February 14.

Anyone wishing to speak at the committee meeting must inform the district council by noon on Friday, January 18.

Councillors used a series of planning-related factors as well as taking into account feedback from a consultation programme held last summer, to prioritise sites according to their suitability for development.

Sites were placed into priority groupings - priority one sites being the most appropriate for development and to be considered for allocation first, and priority four sites being least appropriate.

The Local Plan Advisory Committee - which considered potential sites in Brailsford, Doveridge, Ashbourne, Tansley, Matlock, Darley Dale and Wirksworth has already changed several priority level recommendations, with priority four sites are no longer under consideration.

Sites designated priority level one, two and three will be considered for allocation on Wednesday.

District Council Leader Councillor Lewis Rose, who chaired the series of meetings, said: “Here in the Derbyshire Dales we pride ourselves on listening to the views of local residents, and elected members have already responded to the concerns of the people they represent.

“This is the first time the Local Plan committee has put into the mix all the remaining potential sites in different areas of the Dales and it is yet another opportunity for local people to have their say on important decisions that have to be made to ensure future generations of people who regard the Dales as their home have somewhere affordable to live.”

After final allocations have been made, a pre-submission publication plan and further public consultation will follow in May this year, after which a formal submission will go to the Secretary of State in October.

It is anticipated that the revised Local Plan will then be adopted in May 2014.

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