By Andrew Topping, Local Democracy Reporter
Bassetlaw District Council’s local housing plan is expected to be fully adopted by autumn of next year – permitting it passes several tests of the Government’s planning inspector.
The Labour-led council submitted its draft local plan – which sets out where about 10,000 homes will be built between now and 2038 – to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities last month.
Within it, the major document specifies where homes and developments will be created and where spaces for new employment opportunities can come forward.
It has been drawn up over a period of six years and has undergone eight different rounds of public consultation, with residents, developers, businesses and local organisations shaping the council’s plan for the district.
Following the submission, which took place at the end of July, the Secretary of State for Housing, Greg Clark, will now appoint a planning inspector to examine the plan.
Within investigations, the inspector will establish if the plan is “sound” and meets all legal planning requirements.
They will also review comments made throughout previous consultation periods and local assessments, including reviews of transport and flood risks where major developments are based.
And a number of hearings will take place, organised by the Government inspector, throughout the coming autumn.
People, businesses, developers and local organisations who previously responded to consultations will be invited to take part in these hearings.
If the inspector views that changes should be made to the plan, the council will be asked to go back to the public on the recommended changes.
A report will follow from the inspector before a planned adoption of the local plan by autumn 2023.
David Armiger, Chief Executive at Bassetlaw District Council said: “All Councils are required to have an up-to-date local plan by December 2023.
“The submission of our local plan allows us to meet that deadline and ensure we can manage development and growth appropriately in our district.
“The Bassetlaw local plan will now be scrutinised by an independent inspector through a comprehensive and unbiased examination process, and we look forward to learning the findings.”
More than half of all homes proposed in the local plan are already included in existing planning applications previously granted permission by the authority.
Planned developments include housing on the former Welbeck Colliery site, while the document outlines around 1,000 homes in Thievesdale, Worksop, and almost 900 homes in Orsdall.
The plan was given support from neighbouring Mansfield District Council in a consultation response earlier this year.
In the response, the authority praised Bassetlaw’s housing distribution, welcomed the inclusion of gypsy and traveller sites, and mentioned specific elements included within the document.
This included the Welbeck Colliery homes, the ‘impacts and implications’ of the plan on the A60 route between Worksop and Mansfield, and the potential impact the plan could have on Clumber Park.
It came after Bassetlaw District Council made amendments to the plan in the months prior to Mansfield District Council’s February 2022 response.
The plan had initially proposed 10,047 houses, but the authority added more elements to the plan which increased this number to 10,638.
This included extending the plan by a year, from 2037 to 2038 to make it “consistent with national policy”, and by changing the use of two key sites in the district.