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20 June 2013

Key Chesterfield planning document approved

A planning strategy which sets out how Chesterfield should develop between now and 2031 has been approved by a Government inspector.

The Planning Inspectorate decided that the Chesterfield Local Plan: Core Strategy produced by Chesterfield Borough Council is sound, subject to some minor alterations, and can be realistically delivered on the ground.

The document is expected to be formally adopted by the council at a meeting on 24 July and will then guide development until 2031 – being used as the key planning policy document against which planning applications will be judged.

Councillor Terry Gilby, Chesterfield Borough Council’s deputy leader and executive member for planning, said: “The council, both officers and members, have worked very hard in getting a plan that’s right for the borough.

“We are very proud of our planning achievements over the last 20 years, especially the success we have had in regenerating former industrial land.

“We want this to continue, and believe the core strategy sets out the best way to do this.

“I do understand that some people may still have concerns about how the core strategy will actually affect things on the ground, but I am confident that it is the right strategy, and the council is committed to working with our communities through the next stages of the plan to address issues around specific sites.”

The inspector’s report follows a two week public examination of the core strategy document held in January.

It concludes that the various regeneration schemes being pursued by either the private sector or the council, along with its development partners, are fundamental to the future of the borough and continuing to deal with legacy of derelict land or poor quality industrial buildings from the decline of former industries.

Modifications, which were proposed by the council during the examination and recommended by the inspector, include clarification of where future housing could be sited.

But the report says the council is right to identify an annual need for 380 homes based on the latest 2011 household projection figures.

During the hearings the Government announced the proposed route of the HS2 rail link, which runs through the eastern part of the borough. The report concludes that the core strategy document is flexible enough to allow for the delivery of the rail line without compromising other objectives in the plan.

The council’s approach to protecting green spaces was also found to be the right one.

Mike Hayden, Chesterfield Borough Council’s head of regeneration, said: “This is fantastic news for the council, and we are keen to get on with implementing the plan and progressing with site allocations.”

The report can be seen at www.chesterfield.gov.uk/Core-Strategy-Inspectors-Report-1116.html

Source:Chesterfield Borough Council

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