Government blocks Council’s withdrawal of 5,800 home development plan

Aerial view of Erewash Borough Council

Central Government has intervened to prevent Derbyshire’s Erewash Borough Council from retracting its core strategy for building 5,800 homes over the next 14 years.

Housing minister Lee Rowley, using Section 27 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, has blocked the withdrawal, marking the second time the government has taken such action in three months.

Rowley’s letter to Erewash emphasises the importance of maintaining an up-to-date blueprint and warns that withdrawing the plan would be a failure to make proper preparations.

The letter writes: “In withdrawing the draft plan, the council would be further failing to plan for and deliver the homes that people need. Withdrawing the plan at this stage will lead to significant further delay whilst a new plan is prepared.”

This intervention occurred just four hours before Erewash’s scheduled withdrawal meeting, prompted by a change in administration from Conservative to Labour in May’s elections.

Consequently, the meeting proceeded but was formally adjourned, lasting only 10 minutes. The council now plans to seek legal advice before deciding whether to challenge the central Government or comply with its orders.

This decision forces the authority to oversee a development plan it opposed and sought to review, including objections to housing in Green Belt areas like Spondon Wood and Cotmanhay Wood.

Councillors from all parties expressed surprise at the announcement.

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