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Government Planning Inspector says that Pickles’ Letter is Material

June 12, 2010 by  

PUBLIC scrutiny of Castle Point’s housing proposals has been postponed following the Government’s announcement it will return planning powers to local communities.

The change comes after Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, confirmed the Government planned to scrap Labour’s housing targets.

Government inspector Paul Crysell, who will be carrying out the examination, said: “Because the Government intends to abolish  regional  spatial strategies, this becomes a material consideration in examining development plans.”

“For this reason, it is necessary to defer, at the very least, the hearing session on housing into the Castle Point core strategy until clarity is provided in a formal ministerial statement.”

The Planning Inspectorate has issued a Guidance Note which is here for all Planning Inspectors.

Here is the full article which apopeared in the Echo on 11 June 2010 by Sarah Calkin  “Housing ruled out of blueprint public scrutiny”

PUBLIC scrutiny of Castle Point’s housing proposals has been postponed following the Government’s announcement it will return planning powers to local communities.

The public examination of the council’s core strategy is due to start in two weeks, and the dossier will still include new health and leisure plans, plus proposed improvements to transport and infrastructure.

However, housing, the most controversial aspect of the long-awaited blueprint, will not be discussed.

The change conies after Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, confirmed the Government planned to scrap Labour’s housing targets, which required the borough to find space for 5,000 homes by 2026.

Government inspector Paul Crysell, who will be carrying out the examination, said: “Because the Government intends to abolish  regional  spatial strategies, this becomes a material consideration in examining development plans.”

“For this reason, it is necessary to defer, at the very least, the hearing session on housing into the Castle Point core strategy until clarity is provided in a formal ministerial statement.”

The hearing into housing is due on June 29.

Time has been set aside on Wednesday, July 7, the penultimate day of the hearing, for the issue to be discussed          if the Government has clarified the situation. But a Bill is not expected until after the summer recess.

Simon Hart, of Thundersley and Daws Heath-based Hands Off Our Green Belt, welcomed the news.

He said: “We are pleased it has been postponed to wait for the Bill.” “Developers would not have been able to look at building on green belt if it was not for the housing targets. This is good news for the whole borough.”

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