Dear Craig Whittaker MP,
In recent meetings between party political leaders on Calderdale Council the Deputy Leader of the Conservative group Councillor Baines stated to me that the Conservative group is opposed to the local plan currently out for consultation, and that they would prefer it if the Government stepped in to do the local plan for us.
The Government has also restated its intention to step in and produce plans for Councils that do not produce one in its recent housing white paper. In addition the Secretary of State for Local Government Sajid Javid MP addressed the Local Government Association conference recently, criticising Council’s that had not agreed local plans.
Calderdale Council is in no overall control and the Conservative group’s stated opposition to the local plan decreases the likelihood of us agreeing a local plan at full Council in December. If the Council doesn’t agree a local plan, then at some stage the Government would step in and produce one for us.
I’m aware you have recently arranged a series of public meetings across the Borough where your opposition to building on Greenbelt land has been stated. With that in mind can I ask: ‘Have you been able to get an assurance from the Secretary of State that if the Government were to produce our plan, it would contain no house building on land currently classified as Greenbelt? Can I also enquire, if the Government were to produce a plan for us, how many houses would they make provision for in the local plan’?
Councillor James Baker
Leader of the Liberal Democrat group on Calderdale Council.