Kirklees Council awaits inspector response after LDF meeting

WAITING GAME Kirklees Council is waiting for an inspector's views on whether its unpopular LDF plan must be withdrawn.
WAITING GAME Kirklees Council is waiting for an inspector's views on whether its unpopular LDF plan must be withdrawn.
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Council officials are awaiting a planning inspector’s verdict after a key meeting on its controversial plan to create homes and jobs.

Kirklees Council met inspector Roland Punshon last week to look at issues of concern surrounding its Local Development Framework (LDF).

The plans set out where the council believes 22,470 homes could be built and 122 hectares of land could be released for business use by 2028.

Mr Punshon was appointed by the independent Planning Inspectorate in April to review the proposal and decide whether it should be approved.

But he raised a number of concerns, including the use of greenbelt land, the overall housing numbers and whether Kirklees had worked closely enough with neighbouring authorities.

He suggested the council consider withdrawing its plan – an option which Kirklees has not yet sought.

During last Wednesday’s meeting, Mr Punshon heard evidence from the council and members of the public about two key areas of concern – the duty to co-operate and the housing strategy.

He is now considering whether the plans could move forward to the formal examination stage.

Council leader Mehboob Khan told Cabinet members last month that he feared the plans would have been to be withdrawn and reassessed.

He said he was worried that the authority would be told to add more homes, bringing the total to 30,000.

But a council spokeswoman this week said: “The official position on the LDF is currently that we are waiting for the inspector’s letter which will set out his conclusions.”