Green belt land will be used for the development of housing and employment sites as Calderdale Council prepares to release its draft local plan for consultation.
The Local Plan will make the provision for the delivery of the homes, employment space and public facilities in Calderdale for the next 15 years.
Under the proposals, green belt will be released. Calderdale’s green belt extends to 22,820ha. (Calderdale is 36,280ha).
The Local Plan is suggesting a potential reduction of some 500ha which is approximately 2 per cent of the district’s green belt.
Mark Thompson, the Council’s Director of Economy and Environment, said there is still scope for brownfield development in towns and expects about 54ha of new housing to come from these sources.
“However, it is important to be realistic and to acknowledge that many of the more viable brownfield sites have already been built out, and the borough needs a mix of opportunities if future needs are to be met,” said Mr Thompson.
“Designation of land as green belt remains a strong feature of the draft plan.
“The draft plan focusses much development on brownfield sites and those within the existing urban areas but also ensures that nearly 98 per cent of the current green belt in Calderdale will continue to have a green belt designation.
“At the same time it is essential to release a small fraction of the current green belt for new homes, jobs, parks, schools and open space.
“This will allow Calderdale the space it needs to thrive and grow, and ensures that the green belt of the future supports planned development rather than constricts it.
“Areas proposed for released from green belt should not be seen as a bricks and mortar free for all. On the contrary, the plan requires a considered approach, responding to new policies on tree planting, allotment space, public open space, and so on.”
National guidance requires the production of an up to date Local Plan to meet evidenced local need.
The absence of such a Plan would leave the Council in a weaker position to promote and coordinate the delivery of infrastructure, and leave them at risk of Government intervention.
Release of the Draft Local Plan for further public consultation under Regulation 18 will allow a wide range of views to be canvassed and considered before Full Council considers its final Publication (PreSubmission) draft of the Local Plan later in the year.
The report recommending that the draft local plan be published for public consultation will go before the Council’s cabinet on June 19 at Halifax Town Hall, 6pm