LETTER: We will not concrete over greenbelt

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Public consultation on the North East Derbyshire District Council Local Plan has recently concluded and the North East Derbyshire District Council (NEDDC) Labour Group would like to thank all who attended the events around the district and commented on the proposals.

However, we feel that we must respond to media speculation and set the record straight. Members of the North East Derbyshire District Council Labour Group feel as passionately as any other NEDDC resident about the greenbelt and its purpose. We will not ‘concrete over the greenbelt’ but will work within the constraints imposed upon us by central government to protect the greenbelt buffer zone which serves to prevent the merging of settlements and the loss of community identity. We are committed to maintaining settlement boundaries.

The recent public consultation was a statutory requirement within the process laid down by central Government of preparing a local plan for adoption. The plan period will run to 2033 and will need to provide land for 6,600 dwellings in sustainable locations over that period. We do not have, within the district, enough ‘brownfield’ land in such locations to meet this housing need target. The Local Plan would not be acceptable to inspectors if we could not demonstrate a sustainable and deliverable housing land supply.

This is why we needed to review the greenbelt. As soon as we get a Local Plan in place we will have more control on where development takes place and indeed strengthen the remaining greenbelt.

Coun Graham Baxter - Leader of the council

Coun Michael Gordon - Cabinet member for the environment