Communities minister Ruth Kelly is under pressure to overturn a decision by an official to reject the first new-style local plan.
Doug Davis, a Stafford council cabinet member, has written to Kelly calling on her to reject her planning inspector’s advice to throw out the council’s local development framework.
David Fenton ruled that the LDF, which was drawn up with the neighbouring authority of Lichfield in Staffordshire, was unsound. He said the plan failed to demonstrate how they would provide for future housing needs.
In his letter Davis said that the government had not given councils enough guidance on how to draw up the LDFs, which replace local plans under the government’s planning reforms. He said: “We feel we have no option but to take this matter to the highest level.
“We have been at the very forefront in pioneering the new system and have paid the price.”
Davis added that he had “serious concerns” about whether councils would be able to deliver the LDFs, given the lack of guidance. LDFs are designed to be less prescriptive about the zoning of individual sites and hence easier to update than local plans.