Letter: Housing - Don’t delay over the Local Plan

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I was shocked to read in the Ripon Gazette that Harrogate Borough Council will not now have a local plan adopted until autumn 2018.

Without a plan, developers find it all too easy to argue that their particular housing estate is exactly what the locality needs.

Without a plan it is extraordinarily difficult to impose a limit on the number of homes built.

Without a plan any homes that are built don’t count towards the fulfilment of that plan and more are required once it is passed.

The National Policy and Planning Framework has, of course, been dangerously stacked in favour of forcing local councils to accept over high house building numbers.

In June 2014 a nationally appointed planning inspector had the cheek to tell the local planners that the number of homes they were proposing was inadequate.

A Conservative government is therefore over-riding local democracy with bureaucratic central planning.

The vast majority of people recognise that we need more affordable homes for local people. Ripon has many opportunities to create these without causing misery for local people, particularly if sites like the former barracks are used wisely to meet local need.

Instead of getting on with the job of producing a coherent plan and then standing up to the central planners and their unrealistic impositions, the local council seems determined to go for a strategy of prevarication and delay in the hope that the problem will go away. It won’t.

Delay on the plan leaves local people vulnerable. Waiting until autumn of 2018 puts local residents at real risk of finding endless unwelcome developments providing the wrong type of housing dumped on their doorsteps.

Andy Brown

Green Party

Main Street, Keighley