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Rotherham: Council urged to increase number of homes in its Local Plan

Rotherham Council is seeking views on changes to the core strategy G130621-1a

Rotherham Council is seeking views on changes to the core strategy G130621-1a

Residents are being asked for their views to increase the number of houses to be built across the borough in the next 15 years.

Rotherham Council had set an overall target of around 14,000 homes in its core strategy.

But following a three week public inquiry an independent planning inspector has recommended that this should increase to 17,000 homes.

He feels this would enable the council to make up more of the housing shortfall from previous years in line with the national housing target.

The core strategy is part of the council’s Local Plan, which is being drawn up as a guide to development across Rotherham over the next 15 years.

It will provide for the development of new homes, new jobs and new infrastructure such as roads, schools, open space and other community facilities necessary to meet the needs of new and existing communities.

The Local Plan has caused anger in Dinnington and Anston with residents concerned about how much green belt land could be built on.

An action group, Save Our Greenbelt, was set up in 2011 to fight any building on green belt land.

Other changes recommended by the planning inspector involved the phasing of the development sites as proposed by the authority.

He maintained that this was not in line with national planning guidance and should be removed from the plan.

The inspector is now seeking views on these proposed changes and the public will be able to make their views known from Friday 7th March.

These will be taken into account when the planning inspector prepares his final report.

The council has said it is also considering the proposed changes and will be responding.

It plans to argue against the increase in the number of homes because the authority has taken into account concerns about building on green belt land.

Coun Gerald Smith, the authority’s cabinet member for regeneration and development, said: “We will continue to argue for a housing target that is lower than the previous government-imposed regional target because we recognise the concerns of local residents about loss of green belt.”

“We will also continue to promote a phased approach to development to try and recycle brownfield land first before greenfield or green belt land.”

“Our communities were very clear that they supported this approach and we feel strongly that this would allow us to choose the right sites at the right time in settlements across the borough.”

Comments on the changes to the core strategy must be received by Thursday 17th April.

More information on the changes or ‘main modifications’ to the core strategy and how to respond can be found at http://rotherham.limehouse.co.uk/portal.

People can also make their views known on a response form which are available at customer service centres and libraries across Rotherham.

The council has said it will not be responding to comments received. Instead they will be forwarded to the inspector for his consideration.

The inspector will take them into account in preparing his final report.

 

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