Council chiefs are to decide whether to fork out thousands from the district’s reserves to pay for public inquiries into planning matters.
Members of Derbyshire Dales District Council will meet this evening to discuss whether to take £42,500 from its General Reserve to pay for inquiries and related costs concerning planning matters in Kirk Ireton, Carsington and Ashbourne.
A council report states: “In order to defend the council’s position at inquiry, it is considered necessary to appoint suitably experienced counsel.
“There is no budgetary provision for public inquiry costs arising from the council’s planning decisions. It will, therefore, be necessary to fund the council’s expenditure from the General Reserve and take into consideration this expenditure in calculating the revised budget estimates for 2014/2015.”
The council refused permission last year for up to 200 homes to be built on land off Old Derby Road, Ashbourne. An appeal was subsequently lodged against the council’s decision.
The matter will now be determined by a public inquiry, which is likely to take three days in October this year.
The authority claims it will be necessary to appoint a counsel in addition to an expert landscape witness to defend its case, which will cost an estimated £32,000.
In August last year the council refused an application for the conversion and extension of a former barn on land at Hasker Farm Cottage, Kirk Ireton, to provide an artist’s studio, ancillary living accommodation, stabling, wood store, work shop and garaging.
An appeal was lodged against the council’s decision to issue an enforcement notice, requiring the owner to cease all use of the building for residential and business use.
It will be determined by a public inquiry with a date yet to be confirmed.
The authority wants to set aside £5,000 to pay costs for the inquiry.
An application for planning permission has been received for the erection of five wind turbines with a maximum height of 100 metres on land at Griffe Grange, north of Manystones Lane, Carsington.
The authority claims that in order to consider the application, it must appoint a landscape consultant with specialist skills in windfarm developments, which will cost an estimated £5,500.
To view this application, search for reference ‘14/00224/FUL on the planning section of the council’s website, www.derbyshiredales.gov.uk