Council prepare Local Plan for public consultation

Councillors will discuss the Local Plan at a meeting in Ripley next week.
Councillors will discuss the Local Plan at a meeting in Ripley next week.

Members of Amber Valley Borough Council will meet next week to put the finishing touches on an draft plan for the borough’s next decade.

At a meeting of the full council on Wednesday March 1, councillors will be asked to agree policies and proposals for inclusion in a draft Local Plan which will be put out for public consultation.

A council spokesman said: “It is expected that the draft plan will be published on March 10 for public feedback for a period up to April 21.

“Documents will be available on the council’s website, as well as in hard copy from Ripley Town Hall and all of our public libraries.”

Officers will also lead discussion events during the consultation period to give communities an opportunity to view the content and implications of the plan.

A local plan sets out formal policies about the future of land use in a given area.

Of particular interest will be 23 potential sites for housing development, to help meet anticipated need up to 2028.

Officers have assessed more than 100 potential sites, including submissions from landowners and prospective developers.

Assessments have taken account of issues such as the green belt, landscape sensitivity, flood risk and heritage.

Representations received during the consultation period will be considered by officers before they prepare and publish a submission-ready local plan, which will also be put out for public comment.

The council hopes to adopt the final plan by March 2018.

n Labour councillors in Belper say the proposed inclusion of World Heritage buffer sites Bullsmoor and Belper Lane in the plan would be a “huge betrayal”.

Their comments follow the release of documents prior to the meeting which detailed maps of possible future development sites.

Coun Maurice Neville said: “I fully support all the hard work over the years which the Protect Belper campaign has done to demolish the case for building on Bullsmoor. People will rightly be asking why sites such as the ABRU factory not in the plan instead?”

Coun Ben Bellamy said: “If Belper Conservatives vote for this plan then they are betraying the people of Belper. No-one will trust them again.

“Our very World Heritage Status is at risk by the foolhardy inclusion of these Buffer Zone sites. Appalling.

“I would encourage the whole of Belper to decamp to Ripley Town Hall for the meeting on March 1 at 7pm and let your feelings be known.”