Public consultation of Local Plan changes

Friday 4th March 2016 to 5pm on Tuesday 19th April 2016

Cheshire East has now published its new version of the Local Plan: ‘Local Plan Strategy – Proposed Changes Version’ for public consultation.

It includes changes to the policies and accompanying text, including new and amended strategic site allocations, with all the supporting evidence.

“The Local Plan Strategy – Proposed Changes Version was approved at the meeting of Full Council on 26th February 2016. It will now undergo a formal public consultation period during which representations can be made, from Friday 4th March 2016 to 5pm on Tuesday 19th April 2016. The document is supported by a Sustainability Appraisal Addendum and Habitats Regulations Assessment Addendum, upon which representations can also be made.”

Documents are available to view online at and can also be viewed as PDF files of all the above documents as well as printed copies at Cheshire East Council’s headquarters at Westfields, Middlewich Road, Sandbach; the Customer Service Centres, libraries, and the Planning Helpdesk, Municipal Buildings, Crewe.

It is anticipated that examination hearing sessions will resume in September 2016 to consider amendments to the submitted LPS and sites (including additional, amended and existing site allocations).

Draft LP revisions

We’ve already said how the latest revisions would affect Goostrey in a previous post but here is a run down on the revised draft from ‘Place North West’:

Cheshire East’s revised draft Local Plan features changes to the green belt around Macclesfield, Alsager, Poynton and Wilmslow, in order to deliver the increased target of 36,000 homes needed in the borough by 2030.

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Local Plan moves forward

Local Plan moves forward towards consultation and its final stages

February 10, 2016 CEC media release

The revised Local Plan Strategy is set to go before strategic planning board, Cabinet and for approval by Full Council in February, before further extensive public consultation. This will include additional and amended strategic site allocations.

The Council is due to submit the Local Plan Strategy, with any amendments, to the Planning Inspector in June 2016.

Cllr-Rachel-Bailey-Jan-2016-200-wideCouncillor Rachel Bailey, Cheshire East Council Cabinet member in charge of the Local Plan, said: “The positive views expressed by the Inspector have enabled the Council to make amendments to our Local Plan with confidence and publish these for consultation.

“We therefore propose to take a report to a full meeting of the Council at the end of February, setting out proposed amendments to the plan.

“This will include a comprehensive suite of development sites to accommodate the larger scale of growth now planned for the Borough. Following a period of full consultation, during March and April, further examination hearings are expected to be held in early autumn.  Read the full Cheshire East press release.

Relevant points in changes to LP Strategy

The Strategic Planning Board met yesterday to review proposed changes to the Local Plan Strategy.  Just a couple of points are relevant to Goostrey: new additions in red, below….

firstly, strengthening the JBO consultation zone;

Policy SE 14 Jodrell Bank:

1. Within the Jodrell Bank Radio Telescope Consultation Zone, as defined on the Proposals Map, development will not be permitted if it:

i. Impairs the efficiency of the telescopes; or

ii. Has an adverse impact on the historic environment and visual landscape setting of the Jodrell Bank Radio Telescope.

2. Conditions will be imposed to mitigate identified impacts, especially via specialised construction techniques.

3. Proposals should consider their impact on those elements that contribute to the potential outstanding universal value of Jodrell Bank.

and in 13.158 as Justification they “will provide further detailed policy and advice within the Site Allocations and Development Policies document”.

and secondly,

Policy PG 1 Overall development strategy of LSCs – Justification: Clause 8.34 has been updated which reinforces development should be within existing built-up areas and adjacent larger settlements. (click to enlarge for detail)

Updated 8.34

Updated 8.34

CEC Local Plan Strategy – Proposed Changes Feb 2016

CEC reject Inspector’s advice on sites consultation

Despite Inspector Stephen Pratt ‘s recommendation, CEC are not going to publish its final list of site allocations ahead of the next main consultation.

The Inspector suggested that CEC “may wish to consider publicising the final list of selected site allocations before public consultation, so that stakeholders and local communities can provide up-to-date information on availability and deliverability and ensure that all other potential sites have been assessed; this may help to reduce the time spent at any further hearing sessions considering the delivery of these and other “omission” sites.”

But Cheshire East replied last week that “Having considered that suggestion very carefully, we do not intend to undertake such a form of pre-consultation,  for the following  reasons:

  • The Edge of Settlement Analysis and Urban Potential work provides extensive information as to site options – this has been in the public domain for the past six months; 
  • The Council has contacted site promoters through the autumn to ascertain the latest position on site suitability and deliverability; 
  • Council officers have met with groupings of Town and Parish Councils during October and November 2015 to discuss the suitability and deliverability of candidate allocations for each of the Principal Towns and Key Service Centres; 
  • Council officers have briefed Cheshire East Councillors on an ongoing basis relating to progress on the LPS;
  • Sites have continued to be promoted and brought to the attention of the Council throughout this process; 
  • Experience to date suggests that it is the examination hearings that tend to be the focus of debate and many site promoters and objectors will wish to pursue their cases through to any such sessions; 
  • Advance consultation will add at least 4 months to the overall programme – it is not clear that this investment of time will be repaid by eventual savings to the examination process; 
  • Carrying out two rounds of consultation, one immediately after the other could cause confusion, notwithstanding every effort being made to clearly explain the purpose and scope of each process.  “

Cheshire East’s new provisional timetable :

Mid December 2015: Inspector issued Further Interim Views
February 2016:          Council Meeting to consider proposed amendments to the submitted Local Plan Strategy
March /April 2016:   Council publicises proposed amendments to the submitted Local Plan Strategy, including new and amended site allocations for public consultation
April – May 2016:     Council considers and responds to representations made
June 2016:                   Council formally submits amendments to the submitted LPS for examination
July – August 2016:  Preparation for resumed Examination hearings
September 2016  Resumption of Examination hearings to consider amendments to the submitted LPS and sites (including additional, amended and existing site allocations)

see the full response: REB013.

Bunbury 2nd village to pass NP examination

Bunbury’s Neighbourhood Plan has successfully passed a key milestone on its way to helping protect the community from unplanned and unsustainable development.  The plan has been given the green light by a planning examiner.

Bunbury Parish Council was one of the first in Cheshire East to take up the new neighbourhood planning powers and, following a public hearing, the examiner has declared the Bunbury Neighbourhood Plan meets and passes all the relevant tests.  This means that, subject to some modifications, the plan can now move forward to a local referendum, where the residents of Bunbury can vote on it.

If the referendum is successful, the policies in the plan will be brought into full effect and used when Cheshire East Council considers planning applications in Bunbury parish.

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CEC feel Local Plan still on course

Cheshire East evidence has ‘significant’ implications for local plan.  

Place Northwest 15 Dec 2015, 10:06 Jessica Middleton-Pugh

The Government inspector overseeing Cheshire East’s local plan has published his views on the latest evidence put forward by the council, which increases the amount of homes and employment land the borough will deliver by 2030. The examination into the plan was suspended by inspector Stephen Pratt last year to allow further work to be carried out on key evidence areas. Pratt previously outlined “serious shortcomings with the council’s objective assessment of housing need and future provision”.

The local plan initially proposed a minimum of 27,000 houses between 2010 and 2030, averaging 1,350 homes a year. According to the revised evidence base, the council has increased the number of dwellings by 33% to 36,000 by 2030, and has increased the requirement for new jobs from 13,900 to 31,400 on 930-acres of land. Following the submission of additional evidence at the end of the summer, a series of public hearings took place in October.

In his interim views issued to the council, Pratt said that the council “has produced an impressive and comprehensive set of additional evidence within a relatively limited amount of time during the suspension of the examination”. However, he stressed that the evidence has “significant and wide-ranging implications for the submitted local plan”. He said: “Cheshire East Council would undoubtedly wish me to fully endorse the key elements and conclusions of the additional evidence produced during the suspension of the examination. However, this is not possible for several reasons”.

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