Motion to pause local plan in Bassetlaw is denied

Bassetlaw District Council will put its draft local plan to the public for one final consultation after a motion to pause its progress was voted down.

By Andrew Topping, Local Democracy Reporter
Monday, 30th August 2021, 3:04 pm

Opposition councillors called an extraordinary meeting on Thursday, August 26 to the proposals, asking instead for a cross-party scrutiny group to review the plan “in its entirety”.

But the motion, put forward by Conservative councillors, was denied by the Labour administration, with nine votes in favour, 26 against and one abstention.

It means members of Labour’s cabinet will approve a final consultation of the draft local plan – the document setting out housing and commercial development land for the coming decades.

Bassetlaw District Council's office in Worksop.

The public and Bassetlaw stakeholders will then be able to review and scrutinise the document before it is sent to the Government for approval.

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Councillor Simon Greaves, leader of the council, says the authority is working on a timescale to have the document adopted by December 2021 or January next year.

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service after the meeting, he added: “This means now going out to a further stage of consultation, with the public and stakeholders able to challenge the soundness of the proposals.

“We proceed to the next stage, which is very important because the Government requires us to go out to a further stage, seek further feedback, to then make progress.

“Ultimately it will need to be reviewed by an independent planning inspector.”

Members of the opposition had raised concerns about the level of housing proposed in the plan.

Coun Greaves said earlier this month that it is “circa slightly less than 10,000 homes”.

But Conservatives say Bassetlaw is already meeting or exceeding housing targets, and the district “can’t cope” with further developments on the greenbelt.

However, following Thursday’s meeting, Coun Greaves urged opposition councillors to put forward any suggestions in the next phase of consultation.

He stressed “all suggestions will be considered” before the document is sent to the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Cabinet members are expected to move to the final phase of consultation during an extraordinary meeting on Tuesday, August 31.