Kirklees Council is to undertake a full review of its Local Plan, its long-term blueprint for development in the district.

The Local Plan sets out the council’s development targets and allocates land for such as new housing and industry.

The current Local Plan came into force in February 2019 and the Government requires it to be looked at after five years to ensure it is still “fit for purpose.”

The council’s Cabinet has now decided the plan is out-dated and a full review is needed, a complex process which could cost up to £2 million.

The council has failed to meet its targets for new homes with some sites delivering fewer homes than the council expected.

Clr Graham Turner, Cabinet member for regeneration, speaking at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, admitted the council “didn’t get it right” with “over-optimistic” numbers of new homes on some sites.

“We have learned lessons and will take those lessons on board,” he said. “We did not get some right. That’s why we need a new Local Plan, to get it as near perfect as we can.”

The council says the process of updating the Local Plan will involve public consultation. To make sure local people and businesses have every opportunity to get involved, the council will update its Local Development Scheme, a timetable outlining key stages of the process and when members of the public are able to give their input.

The council would also prepare a revised Statement of Community Involvement, detailing how local communities will be engaged.

Clr Turner added: “When we first launched the Kirklees Local Plan back in 2019 we could never have imagined what the next five years would have in store.

“While this review was always going to take place, its importance right now can’t be overstated. We need to make sure that the strategy we’re working to takes into account the colossal changes which have taken place since the Local Plan was adopted, so that we can deliver our ambitions for Kirklees.

“I know we have some huge challenges on our hands but there is also huge potential across our district.

“The Local Plan is about how we work within our current constraints to deliver that potential – strengthening our local economy, creating much-needed housing and bringing huge benefits for everyone who lives and works in Kirklees.

“The impacts of this work will be felt for not just years but decades to come.”

Full council will have to give formal approval for the full review in November.

Main image by: SEAN DOYLE