Last night (Wednesday 18 June 2014) at an extraordinary meeting of Harrogate Borough Council, members voted in favour of withdrawing the Sites and Policies Development Plan Document.
The decision was made in light of concerns expressed by the Secretary of State’s Planning Inspector appointed to examine it at a public inquiry.
Councillor Michael Harrison, Harrogate Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning said: The council voted to withdraw the draft Sites and Policies Development Plan Document, and will move as quickly as possible to prepare a new one. One of the first tasks will be to get a revised housing target agreed, as any increased level of housing must have the infrastructure – such as roads and schools – to support it.
There will be a call for sites, new ideas and fresh consultations on both potential housing and employment land allocations. However, this does not mean that the work that has already been undertaken will be wasted, as much of it can be incorporated into the new plan. Whilst we remain disappointed that our original plan was not accepted, councillors recognise that we need to move forward quickly in response.
In the meantime, talk of a ‘planning free for all’ is wide of the mark. The council will continue to determine planning applications using policies in the adopted Core Strategy and Harrogate District Local Plan, taking into account the five year supply position and policy guidance set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).