Amber Valley Borough Council (AVBC) faces a shortfall of 3,000 houses if it is to meet ambitious targets for building new homes.
Government planning inspector Roy Foster suspended an inquiry on May 1 and gave the authority six extra months to revise its ‘core strategy’ development blueprint document, which allocates land for new homes, after hearing that some sites earmarked for housing could fall through.
Concerns about the cost and deliverability of sites at Nottingham Road in Ripley and Alfreton Road in Codnor, as well as a Duty to Cooperate (DtC) to help Derby meet its housing allocation, affected estimates.
Mr Foster told the council: “I am in no doubt that the council is currently unable to demonstrate the existence of a secure deliverable five-year supply. The submitted plan is incapable of progressing to adoption until this is remedied. The council therefore needs to identify and bring forward further strategic allocations to deal with this shortfall.”
He added that securing a five-year supply would safeguard Amber Valley against unwelcome applications on sites outside the adopted plan, but said that evidence for the supply must be ‘realistic, transparent and unambiguous.’
The council was told to adopt a ‘carefully informed and critical approach’ and was advised to use a ‘larger number of sites at a greater variety of locations’ instead of relying on ‘a smaller number of sites at fewer locations.’
AVBC said its officers are now going through the letter ‘to determine how to address the inspector’s concerns.’