Cheshire East gives public more time to consider local plan

Simon Donohue

Cheshire East Council is extending public consultation on the core strategy of its draft local plan by six weeks to allow more time for the public to have their say on the proposals.

The council last month unveiled provisional strategic sites for potential inclusion in the emerging local plan core strategy. These have now been incorporated into a single document of proposed sites which will now be subject to public consultation between 5 November and 16 December 2013.

This will include strategic sites, the plan's evidence base and proposed new infrastructure, including new roads.

Deputy council leader Cllr David Brown, who oversees the local plan process, said: "We had a tremendous response when we presented our proposals to the council's strategic planning board two weeks ago, with around 30 people and groups coming along to speak at the meeting.

"There were some excellent and constructive points made and it's only right that we respect the effort people put in by now making extra time to reflect on them properly."

Following this final round of consultation, the council will publish the draft core strategy, inviting formal representations, and then submit those comments along with the document to the planning inspectorate.

Cllr Brown added: "So far, we have received 28,000 representations by members of the public about our draft proposals. This is an unprecedented amount of interest in a council consultation process and I hope this further period of consultation will allow everyone to feel they have had time and opportunity to have their say.

"The local plan is the keystone for all future growth across the borough. It is absolutely vital for the future economic wellbeing of everyone living and working in Cheshire East that we get this process right.

"As I see it, this is the people's plan and it's vital that we take the time to get it right."

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