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If at first you don't succeed, approach the Government Office

In Derbyshire, CPRE volunteers looked at the first draft of Amber Valley Borough Council's local plan and found that it paid little attention to the government policies on housing...

The volunteers were worried about a few things:

  • There was no urban capacity study
  • New housing numbers were in excess of need and above Derbyshire structure plan requirements
  • The housing density was below the minimum level set out in government policy and there was a very low brownfield target
  • There were proposals for building housing on greenfield and Green Belt sites, unjustified in the light of the lack of investigation of building at higher densities and on brownfield land

Meetings with officers at the local authority showed that they had no intention of changing the policies. So CPRE raised its concerns with the Government Office of the East Midlands, which wrote to the local authority, instructing it to rewrite over 80 policy proposals and telling the authority to:

  • Reduce the housing numbers, having allocated 400 more than required
  • Comply with minimum density figures
  • Withdraw all the Green Belt allocations and make no changes to existing Green Belt boundaries
  • Provide urban capacity study figures to justify greenfield proposals
  • Increase the brownfield targets