Five year housing land supply ‘close’

CHESHIRE Council leader, Cllr Michael Jones, says in the Crewe Chronicle this week that a five year housing land supply will help fight developers but states he will fight a 20% buffer.

Cheshire East is close to achieving its five year housing  supply – but could still have a  fight on its hands as it is working to a 5% buffer.  At present the borough is a  sitting duck for developers  who have been quick to take advantage since  Secretary of State Eric Pickles  ruled the council has not  demonstrated it has a five year housing land supply.

A 20% buffer was also imposed  – meaning the council  should deal with its backlog of  undersupply in five years, but the  council has argued for a 5%  buffer which would give it nine  years.

Cheshire East leader Michael  Jones told Thursday’s full council meeting which met at Macclesfield: “We are close to  achieving our five year housing  supply and a 5% buffer.  I am  fighting against the 20% buffer.”

He added: “We have had a  Labour imposed moratorium  and we should not be punished  for this by needing to increase  our supply by a further 15%.”

The council leader said once  the five year supply had been  established ‘this will give more  strength to our planners to  defend our green gaps, greenbelt and villages’.     Crewe Chronicle

Response from CEC Leader Cllr Jones

LoveGoostrey received the following witty query:

“Any news on the final response from “Goostrey” at the end of the 2nd Consultation?  E.g.  Numbers who contacted Cheshire East, Where we go from here etc.  Also, why hasn’t someone just approached the Head of Whatever and just simply asked them why Goostrey has been wrongly-classified?  I give up smoking soon (an annual tradition) so am more than happy to volunteer.  :-) “

In response, only 2181 comments have been uploaded to the CEC consultation website, 59 from Goostrey so far – we will keep you posted.

LoveGoostrey chased Leader Cllr Jones for an answer to the classification question between April and November, here is his recent response in full:

“Please accept my sincere apologies that you have not previously received a response to those e-mails; this is due to the high level of correspondence that the council receives, on a daily basis.

Please be assured that the comments that were made, relating to the classification of Goostrey as a Local Service Centre, have been taken into consideration, along with all other comments received, as work on the Core Strategy has progressed.  The scale of objection to the classification of Goostrey as a Local Service Centre is recognised, however, the Core Strategy has to be prepared objectively and has to be based on relevant evidence.

I have discussed your concerns with officers in the Spatial Planning Team; they have advised me of the following –

The classification of Goostrey as a Local Service Centre has been made, following the completion of the ‘Settlement Hierarchy’ study which is available in the ‘Research and Evidence’ section of the Cheshire East website www.cheshireeast, .  The settlement hierarchy has provided a clear methodology which shows why this is the case.  The arguments that have been made against this are not considered to contradict this work.

With regard to the population information that has been used in the study, this has been obtained from the ‘Lower Super Output’ area information and is considered to be the best fit for Goostrey which happens to include other, smaller, settlements.  This is however the same approach that has been taken for other settlements and is considered to be the best that can be achieved, using recognised data sources.  It should also be recognised that it is the level of services and facilities available that is the determining factor in categorising settlements, not the size of the population (although often there is a correlation between the two.)  The ‘Settlement Hierarchy’ study stages (in stage 3) that one of the determining factors for the classification of a settlement as a Local Service Centre is ‘Settlements containing fewer than 2% of the total population and number of households in Cheshire East’.

It is accepted that Holmes Chapel is of a different character to Goostrey however it should be recognised that the villages that are classified as Local Service Centres do not all have exactly the same range of facilities; some have more services than others do however they are all considered to offer a range of services.

Goostrey does have a very good range of services.  A recent survey of services in Goostrey, by an officer from the Spatial Planning Team, showed that there are a range of local services present, including a railway station, with services to Crewe and Manchester (and the stations in between); a bus service; two Pubs/restaurants; two places of worship; a pharmacy; Post Office; Primary School; a village hall; play area and a number of shops, including provision for the purchase of convenience goods.  This is comparable with other settlements that have been included as Local Service Centres, such as Chelford, Haslington and Shavington however Goostrey has a railway station which Haslington and Shavington do not; it could therefore be argued that Goostrey has a better range of services than Haslington and Shavington.

With regard to the potential of residential development taking place within Goostrey, the Pre-Submission Core Strategy states (in Policy PG6) that Local Service Centres will be expected to accommodate in the order of 5 hectares of employment land and 2,500 new homes.  The Pre-Submission Core Strategy does not however include any proposals for residential development to take place in Goostrey.  Such proposals would be made through the Site Allocations and Development Policies Document which will be produced during 2014 and will undergo a full public consultation process.  The scale of development proposed in a centre will meet local need and, to some extent, it will be linked to the facilities that the settlement in question has, regardless of classification.

Of the proposed figure for new homes, it should be noted that planning approvals have already been granted which will contribute towards that requirement.  For example, at a recent committee, some 171 homes were given permission in Local Service Centres (Holmes Chapel & Bollington) – accordingly when all other sites are considered, the shortfall is actually quite modest.  Officers in the Spatial Planning Team estimate that the Site Allocations and Development Policies Document would need to identify around 50 new homes (maybe 75 at the absolute outside) for the period up to 2030 in Goostrey.  This could be phased to ensure a steady supply, if desired.

It should also be noted that the classification of Goostrey as a Local Service Centre could also bring positive benefits for the village, by protecting existing services and enabling the provision of improved facilities in the future.  For example, if there was a proposal for a new community facility such as a youth centre or a proposal to close a public house, the classification of Goostrey as a Local Service Centre would mean that Cheshire East Council would support such a new facility and would oppose the closure of a public house.”

Have your say, time is running out

Three days ago only 502 people throughout Cheshire East had responded to the Local Plan 2nd consultation – out of the first 1,152 comments 856 were via the website, 213 by email and 83 by letter.

So please take time to object to Goostrey being classified a Local Service Centre [which could bring too much development].

Residents have just 2 days left to have their say online or by email on the Local Plan [too late by post], the consultation ends on Monday.

This is the final public consultation before Cheshire East will publish the Core Strategy, then submit it to the Secretary of State for inspection by the Planning Inspectorate.

email address:

Dont miss the post. Send comments by email.

Worried you might miss the post to comment on the Local Plan and object to Goostrey being a Local Service Centre ?

Then send comments by email to 

but make sure you include your name and address.  Here is a link to a letter you could copy and paste into an email as a guide but you could also edit it or add your own comments:

Local Plan comment email



Hermitage Lane

Update on possible new development afoot in Goostrey;

also highlights the need to send your comments on the Local Plan in to Cheshire East’s Spatial Planning Team telling them that Goostrey should not be classified as a Local Service Centre open to greater development.

“So we have another proposed development in Goostrey.  This time its East of Hermitage Lane. 26/28 homes.  The architects are Jay Ashall who have feedback forms available which need to be in before they submit the planning application on Monday 16th December 2013.”

“It is the field that extends from behind Netherlea and to the rear of properties on Hermitage Lane.  Allowing this development would obviously provide the access required to the “turf” fields and potential further development in the future.”

……………..comments  received from Goostrey residents.

Make sure the council hear

If you haven’t got your LoveGoostrey letter delivered yet don’t worry it should get to you by early in the week.

Fill it in and post it to let the Council know that you do not think it makes sense if Goostrey is classified as a Local Service Centre.  Holmes Chapel has all the services, health centre, supermarket etc.   No large developments here please!
Many thanks to those who have delivered the LoveGoostrey letter round the village over the weekend – and thanks to the parish council for their support.

Comment letter for posting

If you don’t like online commenting…

Re Comments to Cheshire East on Local Plan [2nd Consultation]

LoveGoostrey [in conjunction with Goostrey Parish Council] will be delivering to residents an ‘Objection/Comment Letter’ over the next few days.  Please use it, adding your own comment,  and simply post to the Spatial Planning Team at Cheshire East  if you prefer it to commenting on-line.

If there is more than one in your household and you wish to send in more than one copy you can download and print extra copies here:

2nd Consultation Comment Letter

To arrive by 16th December:

Spatial Planning Team, Westfields, Middlewich Road, Sandbach, CW11 1HZ

Goostrey needs you