The newsletter explains more about the work we and our planning advisors are doing to stop the release of village Green Belt land for development. This work centres on preparation for and attendance at the Public Hearings being held by the independent Planning Inspectors as part of their examination of the Council’s Draft Local Plan. The support for our fund raising so far has been excellent for which we are very grateful. However we estimate that we still need about another £7,000 to make sure that we can present the best possible case to the Inspectors at the examination.
Please support our efforts to save our village – details of how you can donate are in the newsletter.
Rossendale Borough Council submitted their Draft Local Plan to the Planning Inspectorate on 25th March 2019. The submitted Plan did contain some changes from the Regulation 19 Plan but none of these were very significant. The submitted Plan, a copy of the plan showing the changes and other submitted documents can be found on the Council’s website – follow the link:
The Planning Inspectorate will appoint an Inspector who will undertake an independent examination of the Plan which will include an examination in public. Information on the examination including the timing of the public examination can be found by following the link below:
10,000 hectares of land have been removed from green belt since 2012
5,000 hectares of land lost green belt protection in 2017/2018
Nationally there are plans to build 460,000 homes on green belt land
The CPRE report states that green belt land is the most profitable and desirable for developers due to it being ‘shovel ready’, surrounded by countryside and within commuting distance of major towns and cities.
The CPRE goes on to state that “There is currently enough brownfield land in England to accommodate more than a million homes, with almost three quarters of this in areas with green belt land.” The CPRE urged the Government and local authorities to ensure brownfield land is redeveloped before any more land is released from the green belt.
ECNF shares this opinion and has made this representation to RBC in response to their local plan.
If Rossendale Council fail to publish their Local Plan for formal consultation by the end of August, the Government might intervene, warns a report which will be presented to members on Wednesday (11 July).
The Local Plan is a planning blueprint for Rossendale Borough that identifies development needs for the next 15 years and allocates sites. When the first draft emerged last year, it caused uproar in Edenfield, where 808 residents objected to a proposal to remove Green Belt protection from swathes of land.
According to the report, the Government have been regularly contacting the Council to check that the formal consultation version will appear on time. The report therefore recommends that the Councillors hand over to the Planning Manager and the Director of Economic Development in consultation with the Portfolio holder for Regulatory Services the task of making any changes required to rectify errors and improve the draft Plan prior to publication.
The recommendation has alarmed the Edenfield Community Neighbourhood Forum, a group of local residents and businesses established to draw up a neighbourhood plan.
Ian Lord, their Chair, said,
“We have been concerned, ever since the first draft of the Local Plan appeared last year, about the removal of land from the Green Belt. Government guidance is clear: this should happen only in exceptional circumstances. We have repeatedly asked the Council to explain these, but all the report says is that they will be covered in a separate topic paper. However, the Councillors are being requested to sign off the Plan without any information on this crucial aspect.”
“The report to Council this week mentions some minor changes from last year’s draft Local Plan, but the fact is that, on the Council’s own figures, there is an adequate supply of developable housing land in Rossendale for the next 15 years without any recourse to the Green Belt at all.”
“On present information, the draft Local Plan is unsound. It is therefore alarming that the Councillors, who should be owning the process, are being asked to surrender their responsibilities to the officers. Whilst that might solve their immediate problem of meeting their deadline, they are storing up trouble if the Planning Inspectorate later declare it to be unsound.”
Our first newsletter has been printed so if you’re a business or resident in Edenfield, expect it to drop through your letterbox in the next couple of days.
To truly represent the Edenfield community, we need more members. As well as the newsletter we’re also posting membership application forms. Members of the forum can attend meetings and will receive regular information and updates. Members of the forum can also be elected to join the management committee.
Paper membership forms can be left at Strachan’s Chemist or Valentine’s Butchers. Alternatively you may find it more convenient to complete your details online. Join Us.