24/11/2022 Statement on the Local Plan Review

Cllr Sir Steve Houghton CBE, Leader of Barnsley Council, said: "Today our Local Plan Review was agreed by the Council. It will enable us to build the homes we need and create the jobs we need for the future. Equally, it protects land against unwelcome development. It ensures 77.4% of our land has some form of environmental protections – overwhelmingly green belt.

"Not to have agreed the plan would have meant an update process lasting 3-5 years. During that time, our plan would remain in place, but we would be open to speculative developers seeking to exploit the uncertainty to bring forward more sites, including green belt.

"The update and any changes would also require sign-off by the Planning Inspectorate and the Secretary of State of a government demanding more and more housing to be built. In the meantime, it would not change the current 900 housing units per year minimum delivery target the government demands.

"Our current plan creates enough capacity to meet that government requirement and to achieve our wider economic ambitions and local needs.

"Jobs and housing numbers are linked together in this statutory process. We will review the plan again in five years’ time.

"The route to prosperity is more and better businesses, more and better jobs, more and better homes.

"It’s recently been announced Barnsley is the second greenest town in Yorkshire – this will help us keep it that way.

"We have the right balance between green and growth, and we are protected for at least another five years.

"More importantly, we can create opportunities, the jobs, and homes our children and grandchildren desperately need. We can give them opportunities many of our residents have previously been denied.

"Coupled with our principal towns’ investment plans, the local plan will enable us to repeat the success of our town centre regeneration right across the borough.

"Our local plan is the basis of our future prosperity. It leaves us in a strong position to create that prosperity even in these trying times. It also protects us against further unwanted development.

"I appreciate this won’t please everyone, but for the long-term future of our borough, we cannot afford to be without it."

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