Cheshire East loses appeals on housing supply grounds

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid has ruled against Cheshire East Council in two appeals, giving planning consent to almost 400 homes despite contradicting Neighbourhood Plans in Brereton and Sandbach.

The proposals by Gladman Developments, for 190 homes off London Road in Holmes Chapel, and 190 homes off Abbey Road in Sandbach, were refused by the council in 2015. In April this year, Government planning inspectors held public inquiries into both, and recommended that the council’s refusal be overturned.

According to the Secretary of State’s decision letters to Gladman, Cheshire East Council’s lack of five-year housing land supply was a major factor in his decision. While Cheshire East’s draft Local Plan is in the process of going through a public examination, “a number of significant issues remain unresolved” meaning that it can only be “afforded limited weight”.

Both the Brereton Neighbourhood Plan, which covers Holmes Chapel, and the Sandbach Neighbourhood Plan came into force in April this year.

Due to the absence of a Local Plan, the judgment letters advised that policies relevant to the supply of housing in the Congleton Local Plan, and Neighbourhood Plans, “should be regarded as out of date”.

Cheshire East Council has previously said that it is one of the most proactive boroughs in the country by encouraging communities to form Neighbourhood Plans for their area, which are intended to help local people to have greater influence over planning decisions and prevent “unplanned and unsustainable development.”

Your Comments

Another successful Planning Decision by Cheshire East!! When is someone going to put a stop to these people declining applications for much needed housing resulting in the costs of repeated Planning Appeals – most of which are lost. I thought this situation would improve when the Development Avoidance Officer – Michael Jones resigned – but seemingly lessons STILL haven’t been learned?!

By David Slesth

Unfortunately granting planning permission is no guarantee that the houses will be delivered in a timely manner, or even at all. CEC are right to resist attempts by the UK’s backward house building industry to create more unsustainable urban sprawl whilst they are incapable of developing the ample brownfield sites that exist in and around the core areas of our towns and cities; or alternatively being unwilling to contribute adequately towards the costs of infrastructure that would make their staple suburban or ex-urban development sustainable and liveable.

By Corporate welfare watch

‘Ample brownfield sites’. Such a well used argument but never supported with any evidence.
Please tell me where such large, deliverable brownfield sites exist within Sandbach & Holmes Chapel?
Even CPRE’s brownfield study last year was a farce. An ‘ample’ brownfield land supply of 1,000,000 plots was cited. However delve into the figures and the actual number stands at just 10% of that. People need to stop digesting this rubbish.

By Popcorn

I use my eyes to see the swaths of brownfield sites that should be built on before any greenfield is even considered.

By .

You have to ask what market Cheshire East is really serving. Most of the inhabitants of these proposed houses work in the main urban centres of Manchester, Liverpool or Warrington and there are vast seas of unused or underused brownfield sites in and around these places.

Now the house building lobby will try to claim that they are simply responding to market demand as to where people want to live and there is no demand to live in those places. There may be a sliver of truth to that but it is only because those house builders’ development model is based on achieving a quick and high return on investment. They are simply incapable of taking a long term view and investing in high quality place making (architectural design, open space, infrastructure, mixed uses) that would make those brownfield sites attractive to a broad market.

What we need to do is smash the current model. Uncouple land assembly and land ownership from construction through legislation and force housebuilders to compete on their product rather than on who can procure and manage their land assets most effectively. This is at the route of our housing supply crisis and the appalling quality of our built environment and the only people who benefit from it are landowners and housebuilders.

By Corporate welfare watch

Oh no! Not more!

By Anonymous

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