Letter - Local housing plan is ‘sound’

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In response to J M Donlon’s letter in the Express (March 22), I would like to point out that planning is about difficult choices. Anyone viewing the recent ‘The Planner’ series on BBC2 will see that issues are similar across the country.

What I can be clear about is that benefits via the New Homes Bonus has not been a consideration which has carried any significant weight when planning decisions are made. The need for more homes is a real issue, as are the comments made by local residents. All the relevant planning considerations are taken into account in reaching decisions.

The Government told local authorities to put their Local Plans in place or districts would face “planning by appeal” where developers choose sites, make applications and if they are not approved then submit appeals where the decisions are taken away from local councils.

We have had our Local Plan for future housing and employment land examined by an independent inspector and it has been found sound. This puts us in a stronger position when resisting other sites which are less sustainable.

Ian Thomson

Wakefield Council’s Service Director for Planning, Transportation and Highways