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Local Plan setback disappointment for district council

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: July 31, 2014

Could this mean more housing in Ashbourne?

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A DOCUMENT compiled by planners that could shut the gate to developers eyeing up green-field sites has been snubbed by an examiner.

Planning inspector Keith Holland has advised Derbyshire Dales District Council to take back the Derbyshire Dales Local Plan because of problems in the way the authority consulted with residents and in the way it weighed up the district's housing need against the constraints of the local environment.

The Local Plan was due to be approved by the end of the year, but work to carry out the necessary changes will cause a delay in the schedule.

Corporate Director Paul Wilson said: "While the District Council is naturally disappointed, it makes sense at this stage to take heed of Mr Holland's advice and consider potential options for moving forward the Local Plan before making any further public announcement.

"These options will be presented to councillors for decision, probably later this year."

Without an approved Local Plan in place, councillors have found it difficult to turn down large planning applications as there is no defined strategy indicating where townsfolk want houses to be built and no indication by the district council it can fulfil government targets for new housing provision.

The document has taken nearly eight years for the authority to compile and, once complete, will lay down policies for any developments in the district until 2028.

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