Update April 2015
Hearing report from Gordon Dey;
Forgive me for being delayed in reporting on the final day of the Examination Hearings.
I was present for the final afternoon session on Friday March 11th which looked at policies ID1-5, to do with Implementation and Delivery. However a previous focus on 'Achieving Good Design' enabled Tony Emmott of the Ilkley Design Group to make a strong plea for appropriate design in Ilkley, and it struck me that whatever we finish up with enjoying or enduring, there is need for us to be involved in design. Ilkley have produced their own 'Design Statement' that is clearly being taken seriously by Bradford Council.
The main focus of 'Implementation and Delivery' was the viability of the new housing in Bradford - with Simon Cooke's chief concern being the low level of rents being charged in the private sector - now on average lower than those of Incommunities - thus making it uneconomic for investors in new private-rented housing. Clive Brook then chipped in concerned that this was being exacerbated by developers having to pay S106 contributions.
The Day and Hearings ended with a statement by the Inspector:
- He thanked everyone and said that this was one of the better Hearing Session that he had chaired.
- He had appreciated meeting in Saltaire - one the key birth places of modern town planning.
- He recognised that there were lots of challenges and constraints to overcome.
- He repeated that he would have to think carefully as to whether main modifications would be required to the Plan.
- He reminded us that the period before the political elections meant that a period of Purdah has to be in place that limits discussion and decision making.
- He confirmed that a longer procedure would be required if there were to be main modifications
- He had left the Council with lots of home work to complete.
- The Inspector then clarified with 'what happens next'.
- He set an Easter deadline for the Council to supply him with the home work that they were required to produce - this would be published on the website.
- There was opportunity for Representees to comment on the Home Work of the Council - he set a limit if no more than 1000 words and a two week deadline after Easter
- No further unsolicited written information would be allowed.
- The Council would then be instructed to prepare a schedule for any main modifications to the Plan that he prescribed - plus any minor ones. Main ones are those that he recognised as being required to enable the Plan to be sound. Minor ones are to do with textual or diagrammatic changes.
- A sustainability appraisal would be required by the Council for the changes. He particularly mentioned the effect of the Habitat Appraisal upon SC8
- New policies were required to meet his requirements for the Gipsy and Traveller assessment.
- He clarified the Main Modification Process
- These changes would require a full public 6 week Consultation process - open to everyone, not just Representees.
- No 'hearings' would not normally be required - just written submissions. However he could re-open hearings if he felt this was appropriate.
- The Council needed to inform the Inspector when they were ready to undertake this process.
- Not until all this has been completed will the Inspector be able to publish his report.