Government warn Sheffield Council over local plan delay which could make it harder to stop unwanted developments

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities warned Sheffield Council about delaying its local plan past the Government’s deadline.

Thursday, 14th October 2021, 2:28 pm

The council, which has been working on a new local plan for around a decade and delayed progress a number of times before, is proposing to push the completion date back yet again.

It now does not expect the crucial blueprint that guides developments across the city to be updated until December 2024, a year after a Government set deadline.

Sheffield’s current local plan needs updating as it comprises policies from the Unitary Development Plan, from 1998, and the Core Strategy, from 2009.

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Many are concerned that while the council relies on old policies, Sheffield is in a weaker position to defend itself against unwanted developments.

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At the start of this year, the Government warned councils against delaying their local plans and urged them to update before its deadline of December 2023.

Christopher Pincher, housing minister, said local plans were critical to ensuring: the right homes were built in the right places, communities have a voice on how their local area changes and the economy rebounds strongly following Covid-19.

In response to questions about whether the Government will intervene with the Sheffield Plan, a DLUHC spokesperson said: “We’ve set out a clear expectation that local planning authorities must have an up to date plan in place by the end of 2023.

“The Secretary of State has wide ranging powers with regards to local plans and will continue to work with local leaders to deliver the homes, green spaces and wider development that their constituents need.”