Bolsover council’s unlawful local plan withdrawn

NDET 14-5-13 RKH 9  Coalite plant.
NDET 14-5-13 RKH 9 Coalite plant.

A council has withdrawn its local plan after a planning inspector concluded it was unlawful and ineffective.

Bolsover District Council moved to withdraw their plan following an examination by the planning inspectorate last month, that found a failure to work with other councils over the future of the former Coalite site.

In a letter to the council, inspector David Vickery, said: “There has not been constructive, active and ongoing engagement...between the council, North East Derbyshire District Council and Chesterfield Borough Council with regard to the acknowledge strategic matter of the coalite site.”

Mr Vickers also said the plan’s sustainability appraisal – which deals with sustainable development – was inadequate with regards to provision of employment sites and sites for gypsies.

He added: “The submitted strategic appraisal is not legally compliant and will need to be revised.”

He recommended the council completely withdraw the plan and the council formally notified the Planning Inspectorate of their decision to do so on June 5.

Kenneth Duvall, of Elmton, said: “Surely, the withdrawl of the Strategy raises serious questions for Morrisons regarding the commercial viability of the proposed development of its supermarket and petrol station in the context of a non-existent housing projection.”

A Council spokesperson said: “The Bolsover Local Plan is an important element of our work to ensure that planning and development in the District meets the needs and aspirations of local people. As part of the process, draft plans are scrutinised by Inspectors to ensure that they are fully compliant on a rigorous range of metrics which have been agreed at national level. A hearing was held on the proposed Local Plan for Bolsover District in early April in which various issues of process were raised. The Inspector issued a letter outlining his findings on the matters and issues discussed, and stated that at this stage the Plan was not yet legally compliant and gave us the opportunity to withdraw the Plan to undertake further work to resolve the issues he raised.

“We were very disappointed that the Local Plan was not immediately accepted, but we understand that this is not an uncommon result and we will now take some time to reflect on the Inspector’s findings before agreeing a way forward.”