Local Plan: Council likely to consult on site selection this autumn
Cheshire East Council is looking to identify the proposed sites to meet the additional housing requirements for the revised Local Plan in August and September.
Last month, CEC submitted their additional evidence and suggested revisions to the Planning Inspector to address and rectify his criticisms – which resulted in the suspension of the Local Plan Examination at the end of last year.
These changes include increasing the number of new homes to be built in the Borough between 2010 and 2030 from 27,000 to 36,000 and providing 380 hectares for employment land, rather than 300 hectares, to support the creation of 31,400 new jobs by 2030. This represents a jobs growth rate of around 0.7% per annum and an average of 1,800 new homes per year.
Amongst the suggested revisions is an increase in the number of new homes proposed for Wilmslow from 400 to 900 and the provision of 10 rather than 8 hectares of employment land.
Whilst in Handforth, including the North Cheshire Growth Village, the number has been revised from 2000 to 2200 dwellings with 22 rather than 10 hectares of employment land.
Alderley Park is also included in the revision, with the potential for 200 to 300 new homes.
At a Wider Engagement Event held on Monday, 3rd August, for town and parish councils plus other interested groups, Adrian Fisher, Head of Planning at the Council, was asked whether there would be a proper consultation on the site selection process.
Adrian responded that it is likely that a consultation will take place in the autumn but they have to wait for the Inspector’s guidance.
He said “I anticipate there will be a consultation later in the autumn but we don’t even have a date for the reconvened hearings, in terms of when the Inspector is going to come back and consider the strategic elements before we get to sites.
“So at that point it really would be premature to say it’s going to be this month or the other. I can assure you it’s not that we haven’t thought about that, we have thought about it a great deal. It’s simply that until we have certainty over timing it would be inappropriate for me to give a firm commitment.”
The Council expects the Local Plan Examination to resume in October 2015, initially to review the additional evidence issued to the Inspector in July 2015.