Ashfield District Council votes to withdraw Local Plan

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NEWS: News.
It is back to the drawing board for Ashfield District Council after it voted to withdraw its Local Plan - four months after a Government inspector said it was probably ‘unsound’.

Councillors voted to withdraw the Plan at a meeting on Thursday after Planning Inspector Jeremy Youle found ‘significant concerns’.

Now the authority will have to do additional work and resubmit it.

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In a letter to the council in April his concerns centred on the assessments carried out to select development sites and evaluate the Green Belt.

He said the Plan did not make clear why certain sites had been selected and others rejected.

But the authority said it had worked hard to alleviate residents’ concerns, whilst trying to support economic growth.

With no plan in place, there are fears that housing developments could be pushed through on appeal after the council has refused them planning permission.

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During a heated discussion, Coun Jason Zadrozny said: “The earliest we can expect this now is the back end of next year.

“A week ago we had a decision made by this council on the Alfreton Road site overturned and another hundred houses are now to be built and Alfreton Road is to become a three lane-road.

“That is the downside of the council not getting it’s house in order.”

Coun Chris Baron leader of Ashfield District Council, said the plan had been arrived at after consulting local elected members and consulting local people.

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He said: “We appointed the sites because we appreciate all housing sites in the vast majority of cases are controversial.

“And yet one inspector decides we must withdraw it. The regulations state you need a five year land bank which I believe we have, so there will not be planning on appeal and housing development in the wrong place.”