Local Plan update: pause lifted for new consultation with residents

North East Derbyshire District Council wrote to the Planning Inspector examining the District’s draft development plan to restart the current examination and initiate the next consultation for local communities to have their say.

The Council’s draft Local Plan was paused by the new administration to review the options, particularly regarding the allocation of development sites within the north of the District’s Green Belt.

During the pause, the Council has been assessing the opportunities for amendments at this advanced stage of the plan’s inspection process.

The Council has also formally written to the Inspector to urge a pragmatic way forward and reiterate the importance of protecting the District’s Green Belt.

The options for moving forward are severely limited by the advanced stage of the plan and it is the national Inspector who will make the final decision on any further changes to the current plan.

The Council will therefore launch a new consultation, at a time to be agreed with the Inspector, on the Main Modifications proposed by the Inspector to remove three large Green Belt development allocations of land north of Eckington Road, Coal Aston, Eckington South and part of land off Shakespeare Crescent and Chesterfield Road, Dronfield.

The consultation will also provide an opportunity for the Inspector to consider whether to extend the reasoning behind protecting these sites to the remaining Green Belt allocations.

Cllr Charlotte Cupit, the Council’s Cabinet Member for the Environment, commented, “The Council wants to move towards adopting a sound Local Plan for North East Derbyshire which is supported by local communities, stops the risk of speculative and accumulating developments, and provides planning clarity for all of this rural District. Having a development plan in place as soon as possible will also enable us to positively plan for our area’s future and attract infrastructure investment and growth to match this.

“I understand there is particular concern over the remaining allocations in the Green Belt. The new consultation will be on the draft plan that includes the removal of three large previously allocated Green Belt sites to protect them from development. The consultation will also provide an opportunity for local communities to highlight concerns and present questions or updates to the national Planning Inspector, particularly around whether there is a need for remaining development allocations on Green Belt land. 

“I therefore urge residents to make representations to the Planning Inspector and have your say on the modifications so far to the draft Local Plan.”

A timetable will be agreed with the Inspector’s Programme Officer and the new consultation will open in the near future – updates and key dates will be posted on the Council’s Local Plan Examination website pages.