More Delay for Last Authority without a Local Plan

Over 40 years and counting

York Press

A MAJOR development plan that should set out where homes can be built and businesses can grow in York faces months of delays.

The shock decision to close York’s barracks and a revised set of housing figures from central government has caused set backs in the Local Plan development.

Early next month councillors will hear the changes could push back the final plan by as much as six months.

The Local Plan draft outlines where 8,227 new houses should be built in York by 2032.

Earlier this year, City of York Council ran a consultation asking residents, landowners and businesses for their views on a list of preferred sites for future development.

More than 2,300 responses were received, and they have now been published ahead of two crucial meetings. Significant amounts of technical data and information given by landowners and developers is still being analysed by the council’s planning teams.

A key Local Plan committee is due to meet on Monday, December 5. A report published ahead of that meeting says that Minstry of Defence’s decision about the barracks, and the government’s revised housing need projections – which came since draft plan was published – mean a significant amount of new work needs to be done.

Cllr Nigel Ayre, chairman the Local Plan Working Group, said: “I would like to thank everyone who responded to the consultation and we will now use the results to move forward with delivering a Local Plan for York.

“As the officer report makes clear, the shock announcement that the Ministry of Defence is planning to dispose of three sites in York could have significant implications for the Local Plan, including potentially altering the current timetable.

“Council officers have held meetings with MoD officials who have indicated that the MoD preference would be for re-development of the sites for residential use with a potential for around 1695 houses on the three sites.

“In light of this, officers will need to evaluate the implications to ensure the Local Plan is compliant with national planning policy. We will also need to have further cross-party discussions on the way forward beginning at the Local Plan Working Group on the 5th December.”

The report also points out that Imphal Barracks is partly inside a conservation area and has several grade-two listed buildings, while both Queen Elizabeth Barracks and Towthorpe Lines include green belt land and are next to a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

An update on progress with the local plan will be presented to the local plan working group on Monday, December 5 and the council’s executive on Wednesday, December 7.

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