Kirklees Council spent £590,000 on failed LDF plan

Kirklees Council spent £590,000 than preparing a blueprint for homes and business development which is soon to be withdrawn.
BREAKING NEWS Kirklees Council's LDF costs revealed.BREAKING NEWS Kirklees Council's LDF costs revealed.
BREAKING NEWS Kirklees Council's LDF costs revealed.

The figures were revealed today (Tuesday) following a Freedom of Information request by Chidswell Action Group member Mark Eastwood.

The council’s response gives a breakdown of the majority spending on the Local Development Framework (LDF).

It includes:

£48,547 – 2009 options consultation

£54,227 – 2010 draft proposals consultation

£9,807 – 2012 LDF representation

£4,000 – 2013 LDF submission

£30,241 – legal costs

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£2,703 – dedicated Governance and Scrutiny Local Development Framework meetings

£544.20 – additional costs for the examination programme officer

£467,002 – costs associated with LDF prior to consultation

The costs detailed total £590,071.20.

The council was unable to provide a breakdown of staffing and marketing costs directly associated with the LDF’s preparation.

The LDF sets out the areas in which the council believed 22,470 new homes could be built by 2028.

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It also included the release of 122 hectares of green belt land for employment use.

The plan was submitted to the Government for approval in April, despite thousands of objections from local people.

But the process thrown into chaos when the independent planning inspector asked to review the document voiced concerns.

He raised concerns over the use of green belt land, lack of consultation with neighbouring councils, and insufficient housing land.

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This afternoon, Kirklees Cabinet was asked to consider a recommendation from its planning officers to withdraw the current LDF proposals.

Councillors decided to delay the decision until Leeds City Council had received own feedback from planning inspectors.

But report on the LDF said: “It is not anticipated that withdrawal will lead to additional costs beyond those budgeted for the LDF in 2013/4. “Any longer term implications will be considered by the council as part of the medium term financial plan.”