CEC’s draft Site Allocations for Goostrey

The Site Allocations and Development Policies Document (SADPD) is part two of the Local Plan and identifies additional sites for development throughout Cheshire East.  It will be presented to the Strategic Planning Board at the end of August – followed by a six week public consultation from 11th Sept.  The revised version will have a second public consultation then goes to an Inspector for approval (probably) in 2019.  The housing figure for Goostrey is low due to its location in one of the most sensitive areas for radio interference for the Jodrell Bank Observatory.”

A Settlement Report  on Goostrey supports the overall SADPD..here are some extracted relevant points:    “…it is recommended that no sites should be allocated in the SADPD for development in Goostrey.”

2.1 Goostrey is a village with its own settlement boundary, set in the Open Countryside, as defined on the Proposals Map of the Congleton Borough Local Plan First Review, adopted in 2005. It is identified as a Local Service Centre (“LSC”) in the adopted Local Plan Strategy (“LPS”), and has a 2016 mid-year population estimate of 3,800 people.  [LG: yes we disagree with it being an LSC and all know that Goostrey village does not have 3800 residents !]

2.1 The focus for Goostrey over the LPS period is that of limiting any further impact, exacerbated by development, on the globally important work being carried out Jodrell Bank Observatory. It is also anticipated that Goostrey’s development needs will be largely provided for in Holmes Chapel (LPS ¶8.34).

Settlement Report Aug 2018.png

3.7  There were 8 housing completions (net) in Goostrey between 1 April 2010 and 31 March 2017, and 0.00ha employment land take up. Commitments as at 31 March 2017 were 8 dwellings and 0.00ha of employment land.  A planning permission for 38 dwellings, granted by Cheshire West and Chester Council, does not technically count towards Cheshire East’s figures, however, in a practical sense the proposed development will also be part of Goostrey, and therefore should not be ignored in the context of considering the village’s growth.

3.8  Taking into account existing completions/take up and commitments, this leaves a remaining requirement for the provision of 0 dwellings and 0.00ha of employment land over the remaining Plan period.

4.7  Goostrey has small centre with limited services. However, it has representation from all of the respective retail and service sectors, which provides a key resource to local residents. There is a vacant unit that reduces the vitality of the centre, given the small number of overall units. Although Goostrey has a lower level of retail and service units than expected in a LSC, it is recognised that the centre provides an important role in catering for the day to day needs of the local community and as such support its designation as a local centre (“LC”).

To read the whole report click here – Goostrey Settlement Report.

It is certainly interesting to see the Allocations throughout all the Local Service Centres:Draft SADPD 2.2.png

 

Neighbourhood Plan referendum 17th August 2017

The Parish Council’s Neighbourhood Plan for Goostrey is now finished, approved by the Examiner, and will go to a public vote in a referendum on Thursday 17th August when Goostrey residents will be able to vote for it to be adopted.  If you will be away and can’t vote in person you can easily apply through the following links for a Postal Vote or a Proxy Vote  but must do so by 31st July.

We encourage everyone to vote “YES” for the Plan; designed to deliver the Vision via a set of Policies that reflect the views expressed by residents in the village questionnaire back in 2015 after the Parish Council first set up the Neighbourhood Plan Committee.

You can read the full plan – click on the link Goostrey Neighbourhood Plan  – which will only be adopted if more people vote ‘yes’ than ‘no’.

Paper copies are available for inspection from 3rd July in the Parish Office  (01477 535825).

All residents of Goostrey Parish on the Electoral Register will be able to vote – the question will be:

  • ‘Do you want Cheshire East Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Goostrey to help it decide Planning Applications in the Neighbourhood Area?’

Referendum is Thursday 17th August 2017.

A pictorial of Goostrey Vision and Policies

Gladman win Brereton/Holmes Chapel appeal

Planning permission has been granted at appeal for 190 homes in Brereton on the Holmes Chapel border; the emerging CEC Local Plan and Brereton’s Neighbourhood Plan being afforded only limited weight.

The Secretary of State concluded “that the sustainability of the appeal scheme along with the fact that the relevant policies for the supply of housing land in Cheshire East are out of date outweigh the fact that the NP [Neighbourhood Plan] has only relatively recently been made and the limited landscape and visual harm, and that the adverse impacts of the scheme do not significantly and demonstrably outweigh its benefits when assessed against the policies of the Framework taken as a whole.”

“It is clear that the Brereton community has put a considerable effort into preparing the NP, and it is appreciated that it would be frustrating for one of the key policies to be accorded reduced weight due to the lack of a five year housing land supply in the District – a matter over which the Parish has no control. But there is a significant national housing shortage and, if the LP [Local Plan] were delivering what national policy requires, the planning balance would have been different.”

read more: The Sec of State’s Decision

Developers could ride “roughshod” over councils’ local plan policies

Cheshire East is seeking to challenge a Court of Appeal ruling that found an inspector ‘made no error of law’ when allowing up to 170 homes on a site in Willaston that falls within the green gap.

CEC is seeking leave to appeal to the Supreme Court after the Court of Appeal judgement which could see developers “riding roughshod” over councils’ local plan policies.

The Court of Appeal overturned a High Court judgement in favour of the Council and upheld a High Court judgement against Suffolk Coastal District Council regarding the weight, scope and force given to council planning policies.

The issue concerns Paragraph 49 of England’s National Planning Policy Framework which says housing supply policies should be considered out-of-date where councils cannot demonstrate “a five-year supply of deliverable housing sites”.

Cheshire East challenged a planning inspector’s recommendation to allow Richborough Estates to build 146 houses at Moorfields in Willaston. Suffolk Coastal challenged High Court approval of Hopkins Homes‘ challenge to both the Council and an inspector’s rejection of 26 homes at Old High Road in Yoxford.

“We have thought about this long and hard and it is not something we do lightly,” said Cheshire East cabinet member for housing and planning Ainsley Arnold.

“However, this court decision is too important to be allowed to go unchallenged. It is clear to us it would have deeply detrimental implications for councils across the country and their powers to protect local communities from unplanned and unsustainable development.”

He said the Council aims to maintain the significance of local plans in determining applications even when a council cannot show it has the “five-year supply” developers demand.

Three Court of Appeal judges concluded the High Court had misinterpreted Paragraph 49.

“The policy in Paragraph 49 does not disapply, or “bypass”, an ‘out-of-date’ policy in a statutory development plan,” says the judgement.

“The effect of a relevant policy being found to be ‘out-of-date’ or not ‘up-to-date’ under Paragraph 49 is that the presumption in favour of sustainable development is to be applied as Paragraph 14 of the NPPF provides. As we have said… this does not mean that the policy in question is to be disregarded. It must still be given the weight it is due in all the circumstances of the case.”

They concluded there was nothing wrong with an inspector concluding a policy was out-of-date but still giving it appropriate weight in planning balance.

But he was still entitled to decide how much weight to give when applying the statutory “presumption in favour of sustainable development”.

Brownfieldbriefing

Builders blame councils for slow building

The Home Builders Federation evidence to MPs says building will only reach Government targets if councils give consent to even more land and discharge conditions quicker.

The Home Builders’ Federation has blamed councils for builders only building a relatively low proportion of the sites for which they have planning consent – because they need even more planning consents and more agreement over discharge of conditions.

The Federation’s response to the Commons Communities and Local Government Committee inquiry into changes to the National Planning Policy Framework, puts blame on local authorities for the failure to build.  It says it is important to distinguish between land allocated in a development plan, with planning consent but with conditions to discharge, with “implementable planning permission” and currently under construction.

The HBF claims councils believe their delivery role stops with planning consent and says they should work more closely with developers to allocate sites and grant enough permissions to meet identified needs.  It agrees it is builders that actually build but councils should work to secure agreement over delivery trajectories.

“The current debate between local authorities, government and the development industry regarding build out rates fails to respect fluidity of sites moving through the development process,” it says.

“The allocation of sites and the granting of planning permissions is a reservoir from which development will flow. The number of completions per year is the rate of flow, not the size of the reservoir itself. Once a tap is fully open (in house building terms this is the equivalent of a site delivering houses at the maximum rate the market can sustain), the only way to increase the flow is to open more taps through granting more planning permissions. This may, temporarily, increase the size of the reservoir but, ultimately, if we are to increase output of housing we must plan positively for more housing.”

It says they will only meet Government building targets if the five-year land supply reaches one million dwellings.  The Federation supports brownfield registers and permission-in-principle and also the “brownfield presumption” which it says is not a return to brownfield-first.  It calls for brownfield tax breaks but says sites must be deliverable and developable to go on the registers.    BrownfieldBriefing

Gladman lose appeal in Leek

Gladman Homes had lodged an appeal against Staffordshire Moorlands District Council’s rejection of the company’s proposal to build 90 homes on farmland.

A six-day appeal hearing, chaired by Government-appointed Planning Inspector Michael Hetherington, was held in early December last year and yesterday it was confirmed the appeal had been dismissed.

The Planning Inspector said the three main issues at the centre of the appeal were the setting of the Leek Conservation Area; the setting of Grade II-listed Pickwood Hall; and the impact the housing scheme would have on the local landscape and visual amenity of the area.

Stoke Sentinel

Referring to the Conservation Area, his report concludes: “The appeal scheme would have a significant adverse effect on the setting of the Leek Conservation Area and this would materially harm the Conservation Area’s significance.”

In relation to Pickwood Hall the report said the housing development would “harm the setting of a listed building and designated heritage asset,” while in terms of landscape values and visual impact it would “lead to landscape and visual effects of a ‘major adverse’ significance.”

In his conclusion to the report, Mr Hetherington added: “For the reasons given above and having regard to all other matters raised, I conclude that the appeal should not succeed.”

Appeal challenged over N’hood plan

A local authority is to challenge Planning Minister Greg Clark’s decision to approve housing in a village against local and neighbourhood plans.

Cherwell District Council is seeking judicial review over the decision for 54 houses in Hook Norton, after Clark approved Gladman’s appeal in December.  The Council had previously refused the proposal and is saying the Inspector failed to understand or apply the ‘Hook Norton Neighbourhood Plan’ properly – which says no more than 20 homes should be approved at any one location.

A similar application of 95 homes in Kirtlington was refused.

Brownfield Briefing.