Housing targets will be a key issue as Vale LDP gets green light

By GEM Staff Reporter in Planning

As The GEM was going to press on Wednesday evening, the Vale Council was due to meet and accept the Local Development Plan (LDP) – but the council insisted that it was still committed to limiting inappropriate development in the area.

The LDP provides the legal framework for development and use of land in the Vale, and was presented to the Welsh Government in 2015 for a Planning Inspector to examine.

The new council had hoped to defer a final decision on the LDP, but the Deposit Plan (a draft version of the LDP) has been declared ‘sound’ by a Planning Inspector which means the council must formally adopt it within eight weeks.

The Vale Council Leader, Coun John Thomas, wrote recently to the Welsh Government asking for a review of housing targets, which are set by the Welsh Government – but which were based on data from 2008 population forecasts.

He said that up to date figures suggest that the 10,000-home target could be higher than necessary and asked for the new data to be taken into consideration.

He followed that up by making a formal request last week to defer adopting the LDP, but that bid was unsuccessful.

It means that according to planning law, the council had to adopt the Local Development Plan at this week’s full council meeting.

The Conservative administration say they remain committed to opposing “inappropriate housing development in the Vale”.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, cabinet member, Coun Jonathan Bird, said: “We have been left with no alternative but to adopt the LDP and we are deeply disappointed that multiple efforts to delay a decision have been unsuccessful.”

He said that although the administration had only been going a few weeks it had done everything it could to present a case which would persuade the Welsh Government to reduce housing targets in the Vale.

He added: “We have made it clear in recent years that a target of 10,000 homes is too many, and we remain absolutely committed to opposing inappropriate development in the Vale.

“We will continue to press for reduced housing targets. But it is my belief that having an LDP in place will better enable us to protect our green spaces from applications to develop. This is a battle that we will continue to fight.”

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