At its meeting on Wednesday 15 July Amber Valley Borough Council approved certain changes to its Local Plan following the refusal of planning permission for 400 houses at Kedleston Road. In 2013, Amber Valley submitted its Core Strategy to the Planning Inspector. At that time research indicated it needed fewer than 7,000 dwellings to fulfil its housing need up to 2028.
However, during the lengthy process to get the Core Strategy adopted, Planning Inspectors insisted that the figure should be nearly 10,000 dwellings. There
are two reasons behind this figure. The first is that Amber Valley has a duty to co- operate with the other Councils in the Housing Market Area (HMA), namely Derby City and South Derbyshire. The inspector looks at the total housing needs for the HMA. This amounts to 33,388. Derby City’s needs are 16,388 but they insist that they have no room for more than 11,000. This leaves the balance (5,388) to be split between South Derbyshire and Amber Valley.
The second reason is that, although the most recent research shows that the housing need for the HMA is only 32,142, the inspector is still insisting on the full 33,388, a difference of 1,246 houses.
Councillor Alan Cox, Conservative Leader of Amber Valley Borough Council said “I fully understand the need to look at the bigger picture and, as a member of the Derby Housing Market, we have a duty to co-operate with the City and South Derbyshire. However I feel that this duty to co-operate is being taken too far and that it has turned into a duty to be walked over. This is especially so when you consider that the
British Celanese site (up to 1,000 houses) in Derby is not even being taken into account by the City Council. At l April 2015 there were planning permissions for nearly 4,300 houses where development had not even started. Since then nearly 600 more houses have been approved. So what chance have we got of building all the 10,000 houses that are being thrust upon us?”
Councillor Kevin Buttery, Cabinet member for Regeneration said “We can’t stand up to the inspector and insist on a lower number of houses because, were we to do so, our Core Strategy would be thrown out completely. This would mean that we would have wasted years of work and have to start again. A second effect of losing our Core Strategy at this time would be that planning applications would be submitted for unsuitable sites and we would find it hard to resist them because of the lack of a Core Strategy.”