Why has Greg Clark refused to step in and complete the Warwick Examination after the inspector had a preliminary conclusion of unsound through lack of providing OAN?
My theory is the realisation has dawned after ploughing through the West Somerset Papers that getting a plan adopted means either Green Belt loss or not meeting OAN itself – forcing it on others – and that he would much rather let LPAs do this.
This also means I think he lacks the balls of steel necessary to take over local plans if they do not meet the yet to be announced cut off date for submission.
The result should not surprise Warwick complaining of ‘spending the next two years resolving Coventrys housing problem’ when the reality is they have spent the last four years avoiding taking their fair share of Coventrys housing problem and are now paying the consequences.
2 thoughts on “Clark Unikely to Conclude Local Plan Examinations Himself if it Means Green Belt Dedesignation”
This was inevitable as it has been in many authorities who ignore key housing need components such as overspill.
Their problem is that they have 80% greenbelt and have already overfilled the only areas around Warwick and Leamington that they can, and have successfully resisted appeals on the only vaguely sustainable sites of any size left in the only 3 sustainable villages not in the greenbelt. This only leaves them with a major review of the Greenbelt – long overdue.
The next big story of course is the Inspectors letter to West Oxfordshire in response to their submitted draft Plan (assume you have seen this?), dropping more than hints that their plan is materially unsound. They have been in denial since they rejected the ‘inconvenient’ joint HMA SHMA, that the other 5 authorities have all adopted. They have commissioned their own to get the answer they wanted, and the inspector has made it quite clear that they cannot just row their own boat under the DTC and to properly address the joint HMA needs. If they are right they have a lot of proving to do as to why the joint SHMA is unsound and in any case their own SHMA is of course useless in isolation. If they are wrong then they are wrong. Whether they revert or proceed, either way their plan is unsound, and probably by the biggest margin yet!!
After Mr Cameron has been banging the table about pulling up authorities that produce late and/or unsound plans, what will he do about his own that is one of the latest and most unsound yet?
Green Belt issues came up again with the St Albans/Hunston decision that Green Belt still trumped housing shortage even though Clark noted the significant shortfall in the Council’s five year housing supply and had regard to the constraining nature of the Green Belt designation washing over the District – I suppose St Albans will move beyond its 1994 Plan at some point?