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York’s Local Plan takes next steps

Published Monday, 22 June 2020

Work continues to progress York’s Local Plan following a letter received from the Government appointed planning inspectors.

The letter, which has been published by City of York Council today, follows examination hearings on several key aspects of the plan, including the duty to co-operate, housing numbers and the spatial strategy and Green Belt issues. The letter invites a response from the Council on aspects of the approach it has taken to define York’s Green Belt boundaries.

The council has already begun this work and has formally responded to the planning inspectors to thank them for their work so far. To progress the Local Plan, City of York will continue to work with the planning inspectors to justify the approach taken to define York’s greenbelt boundaries.

City of York Council remains committed to progressing York’s Local Plan; a plan which addresses the city’s housing and economic pressures, but also protects York’s special character and greenbelt.

Cllr Nigel Ayre, Executive Member for Finance and Performance, said:

“We all know how important it is for the city to adopt a Local Plan and most importantly, to deliver a plan which has been developed here in York, with our residents, partners and communities.

“I would like to thank the planning inspectors for their feedback, following examination hearings which considered several key aspects of the factors of the plan, including the duty to co-operate, housing numbers and the spatial strategy, as well as Green Belt issues on which the Council has already started preliminary work. I welcome the general support for protecting the special character of our city. The council will continue to work with their team to provide additional evidence and we will update the Inspectors as soon as possible.

“We remain committed to progress the Local Plan, a plan which provides a sustainable and economically sound future for our city, whilst simultaneously protecting the Green Belt and York’s unique and historic character for many generations to come.”

The proposed plan looks to deliver over 20,000 homes over the next 20 years, including up to 4000 more affordable homes, and prioritises development on brownfield sites.  The plan will also create around 650 new jobs per year, whilst crucially defining the greenbelt boundaries in planning law for the first time since the 1950s.

The draft Local Plan was submitted to the Secretary of State on 25 May 2018. Since submission, there has been ongoing correspondence between the Council and the Inspectors.

Phased hearing sessions started in December 2019.  This phase focused on legal compliance and in-principle matters relating to York’s housing requirement, spatial distribution and approach to Green Belt.

The full letter can be viewed at