Bunbury latest to submit neighbourhood plan to Cheshire East

Cheshire East Council has formally received a neighbourhood plan from Bunbury, which accepts the need for limited development in the green gap between Nantwich, Crewe and Chester.

The creation of the Bunbury plan follows Cheshire East Council leader Cllr Michael Jones earlier this year agreeing to designate the parish as one of many areas to be covered by a neighbourhood plan to help shape development in the local area.

Bunbury Parish Council, which covers a largely rural area with a population of 2,136 people, successfully applied for designation which was approved by Cheshire East Council in October 2014.

The plan will now be the subject of a final six weeks of public consultation before being scrutinised by an appointed independent examiner.

A positive examiner’s report will then mean that the plan can progress to a local referendum when local people will be given the opportunity to vote and bring the plan into effect.

The policies in the Bunbury neighbourhood plan will then be given their full weight in deciding planning applications.

The council is working with more than 20 communities to bring forward neighbourhood plans and is encouraging many more to do so.

Ron Pulford, chairman of Bunbury Parish Council, said: “A consensus has emerged that accepts the need for limited development but also says that we want it on terms that encourage sustainable development, with small groups of houses have regard to the character and infrastructure of the village.

“The plan has already been cited at planning committee meetings, where planning applications that were outside the scope of the plan were refused.

“Our journey isn’t over, with more consultation organised by Cheshire East Council to come, followed by an independent examination and a referendum.”

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