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Craven residents asked to comment on the draft Local Plan

Craven District Council has launched an informal consultation on the new draft Local Plan for Craven District outside the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Councillors at the Spatial Planning sub-committee agreed last night to consult on the latest version of the plan, which include spatial strategy options, draft policies and a pool of site options with potential for residential, employment/mixed use. The consultation will run until Tuesday May 17, 2016.

Feedback gathered during the last consultation on the draft Local Plan, which took place in September/October 2014, together with extensive updates to the evidence base that underpins the draft plan has been taken into account in preparing the new version.

Paul Ellis, Director of Services at Craven District Council, said: "This consultation is a crucial piece of work in developing a Local Plan that is right for Craven.

"We have taken on board previous comments from residents, businesses and organisations who provided us with valuable information. This new draft reflects that input.

"Now we are asking people to have their say on this new draft before it enters the formal process towards adoption by the council. We are interested to hear what people like about it, what needs changing, why it needs to be changed, and how. Any suggestions are welcome."

The new draft Local Plan takes into account the findings of the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA), which is a key piece of evidence to inform Craven's spatial strategy for housing growth and sets out the number of houses planned within the main settlements in the Local Plan area.

The SHMA has also calculated the housing need for Craven District as a whole to be 290 homes per year.  The Council propose in the draft Local Plan to make provision for 256 dwellings per year outside the Yorkshire Dales National Park and are seeking cooperation with the National Park to provide the remaining need of 34 dwellings per year.  

The requirement of 256 dwellings per year for the plan area will be provided through dwellings completed since April 2012, sites with planning permission or under construction, new sites allocated in the Local Plan for housing and through an allowance for small sites.

The latest draft Local Plan is based on updates of evidence to the 2005 and 2008 Employment Land Review, the 2004 Retail Study and Town Centre Health Checks for Skipton, Settle, Bentham, Ingleton and Cross Hills, and the 2004 and 2008 Playing Pitch Strategy, Open Space and Built Sport Facilities Assessments.  Conservation Area Appraisals have also been prepared.

Further evidence will be gathered in relation to highways modelling to assess highway capacity, preparation of an infrastructure delivery plan and testing of the viability of the Publication Draft Local Plan.

The draft Local Plan sets out a pool of site options with potential for housing, employment and mixed uses which have been subject to Sustainability Appraisal.  Not all the sites within this pool will need to be allocated within the Local Plan. Following this consultation, the council will look at comments received on the pool of sites and assess any additional site suggestions for either future housing or employment allocation or designation of Local Green Space, before a list of preferred site allocations/designations is presented to the council's Spatial Planning Sub Committee.  When approved there will be a period of further informal consultation in June on the preferred sites prior to the publication of the Draft Local Plan.

Sustainability Appraisal of the Local Plan is ongoing.  Its purpose is to ensure that social, economic and environmental considerations are integral to preparation of the Local Plan.  Sustainability Appraisal of the spatial strategy options, draft policies and pool of sites also forms part of this informal consultation.

Informal consultation up to publication of the Plan is the last opportunity to influence the content of the plan before it is formally published in September 2016 and submitted to the Secretary of State for Examination in December 2016. The government requires Local Planning Authorities to produce Local Plans by early 2017.

Once the plan is published, comments or representations should only relate to the tests of soundness and other legal requirements, rather than its content. These representations will then be dealt with by an independent inspector during the Examination in Public. 

The new draft Local Plan consultation documents and a feedback form can be found from Tuesday April 5 on our web page here www.cravendc.gov.uk/newlocalplan

Hard copies will be available to view at Craven District Council Offices, Belle Vue Square, Broughton Road, Skipton BD23 1FJ. The Council Offices are open 8.45am to 5.15pm Monday to Thursday and 8.45am to 4.45pm on a Friday. Copies of the draft plan and feedback forms can also be viewed in libraries at Skipton, Cross Hills, Embsay, Settle, Bentham and Ingleton; and via the mobile library service.

Completed feedback forms can be sent to localplan@cravendc.gov.uk or posted to the council using the address above. 

The Council will also be holding drop in surgeries to discuss the draft Local Plan at:

  • Victoria Hall, Settle: Monday 25th April 2016, 4pm - 8pm.
  • Glusburn Institute: Tuesday 26th April 2016, 4pm - 8pm
  • Bentham Town Hall: Wednesday 4th May 2016, 4pm - 8pm.

The Planning Policy Team is available throughout the consultation period.  Please contact us on 01756 706472 or by emailing localplan@cravendc.gov.uk to arrange an appointment at the Council Offices in Skipton.