Cheshire East consults on housing to support Local Plan

The local authority has started a public consultation on a proposed housing strategy that sets out its vision and priorities for housing until 2023.

The consultation sets out objectives that will help support delivery of its Local Plan, allowing the council to profile the value its residents give to certain issues. The consultation asks respondents for how they rate each of the priorities set out in the housing strategy, including such areas as supporting regeneration, housing an aging population, promoting wellbeing and supporting jobs-led growth.

Consultation opened yesterday and runs until Monday 8 January 2018.

In July. Cheshire East received the backing of a planning inspector to adopt its Local Plan, which was four years in the making, including 11 rounds of consultation. The plan has since been challenged by developer Muller over how false air quality data may have affected past applications, while a recent ruling on an appeal for a scheme in Alsager has questioned the robustness of Cheshire East’s five-year housing supply.

Whatever the outcome of those matters, the council must press on if it is not to fall further behind in hitting housing delivery targets. The Local Plan runs up to 2030, and includes provision for a housing requirement of at least 36,000 new homes and 939 acres of land for business, general industrial and storage and distribution uses.

Anticipated jobs growth for the area is around 1,600 jobs per year, or 31,400 by 2030. Accommodating that growth is one challenge, another is dealing with a massive increase in elderly people – between 2010 and 2030 the number of people aged 65-plus in the borough is expected to grow by 65%, and those aged 85-plus by 134%.

Cllr Ainsley Arnold, cabinet member for housing, planning and regeneration, said: “Our proposed new housing strategy contains our ambitions for facilitating the delivery of affordable housing alongside a robust, well-managed rental and sales market. We welcome the opportunity for our residents to engage with us so that we can develop our thinking further on this important topic.”

The consultation documents are available to view online.

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