A SIX-WEEK public consultation on changes to Calderdale’s draft Local Plan will begin on Friday.

After the first stage of examination the Government-appointed Local Plan Inspector provided observations which led the Council to adjust its housing plans. These now aim to deliver an average of 997 new homes annually until 2035.

To achieve this target the plans now include a greater concentration of houses within existing sites which are close to good transport links, for example within town centres. New sites have also been identified which are close to bus and rail links.

The Council is holding a public consultation on these changes and these responses will then be shared with the Planning Inspector before the second stage of examination.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Resources, Cllr Jane Scullion said: “We have a responsibility to make sure that we have enough good quality, new homes to meet the projected demand over the next 15 years and to support economic growth across Calderdale. But we must also balance this against our responsibility to protect the environment and our beautiful countryside.

“Alongside new housing allocations, our Local Plan will put in place strong safeguards to protect our important green spaces, and to ensure a high quality and sustainable approach where development does take place.”

During the consultation people are invited to comment on four areas of the draft Local Plan:

the proposed change to the number of homes which are needed over the next 15 years;

additional sites which are now included to meet the new housing requirement;

the ‘Sustainability Appraisal’ which examines the potential social, economic and environmental effects of the Local Plan to make sure that any development is sustainable and

the Habitat Regulations Assessment, which examines whether the Local Plan would have an impact on any protected habitats.

Comments can be submitted online and further information, including interactive maps, can be found at www.calderdale.gov.uk/localplan. Printed copies of all the documents are also available to view in Calderdale libraries and at Customer First offices.

The consultation will close at 5pm on Monday, February 24.

During the second stage of examination the Local Plan Inspector will examine the draft policies, the suitability of individual site allocations and will consider all the responses which have been submitted during the public consultation.

The Cabinet has already approved tough new targets to tackle climate change within the Local Plan after declaring a climate emergency in January 2019.

The Inspector will be asked to update the Climate Change chapter of the Local Plan to include a commitment within Calderdale to reduce greenhouse gases by 60% to 2032 compared to levels in 2005. This will be discussed with the Inspector during the second stage of examination hearings.

The draft Local Plan supports the ‘Vision2024 for Calderdale’ themes of distinctiveness, resilience and enterprise.