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Harrogate requests suspension of development plan document examination

Harrogate Borough Council has asked for a suspension of the examination of its 'Sites and Policies development plan document' (DPD) despite a planning inspector's recommendation that the document should be withdrawn entirely. 

The decision to request suspension was made at a full council meeting last week although the Council had written to the inspector and said it was minded to withdraw the DPD.

Following an examination hearing last month the inspector wrote to the Council and stated that the proposed housing supply in the DPD fell "considerably short" of meeting the Council's objectively assessed need.

"Based on the most up-to-date available evidence it is apparent that the Council’s plan would probably fail by a considerable margin to meet the housing needs of the area," the inspector said.

The inspector also said he was concerned that the evidence base used for the employment land allocations in the DPD was not up to date. He recommended that the Council should withdraw the document because he said an attempt to resolve the issues by modifying the DPD would likely result in a suspension "for a longer period than would be acceptable".

The Council said it had requested the suspension to enable it to find extra employment land and to question the proposed housing numbers. 

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