It is three years since the consultation began on our Local Plan. So far we have received around 36,000 responses from members of the public about our draft proposals. This is an unprecedented amount of interest in a document that will be the blueprint for Cheshire East to the year 2030. The Local Plan is a keystone for the future of the area and supports our number one priority – Jobs Led Growth. The plan has been developed to support the generation of jobs focused around the M6 corridor, for which we have received £800m of central Government funding, but also ensures that the beauty and character of Cheshire East is retained.
This plan is about developing Cheshire East to maintain its reputation as the best place to live in the north west, whilst providing for our younger generation so they can live and work in the area they were born. It is about the future, job availability, excellent educational standards and a great quality of life. This plan, coupled with our five year housing supply, is also about protecting the residents of Cheshire East against unwanted, unsustainable and unplanned development.
Over the last three years, we have evaluated over 100 strategic sites to ensure sustainability, including access to public services, open spaces and transport, impact on heritage and health. Contained in this document is the final list of 37 proposed sites and nine strategic locations that we want to adopt. In arriving at these sites we have considered comments from the residents of Cheshire East, from Town & Parish Councils and from developers. Added to this our plan has also been reviewed by central Government inspectors to ensure that it is robust and meets all statutory guidelines.
I believe it must be one of the most comprehensive and consulted Local Plans to have been produced in England. I would like to thank everybody who has contributed to this process and would especially like to thank the large number of people who have responded in support of our plans. Some people will be pleased with the result and others will be unhappy, this plan has taken all views into consideration and I believe meets the requirements of Cheshire East residents both now and through to 2030.
This document is a key milestone in the process and any further representations/comments will be collated and forwarded to the Government Planning Inspector for his consideration.
Following on from the submission of the Local Plan to the inspectorate our next task is to make site allocations for our small towns and villages. This will take the form of consultation with local Town & Parish Councils and voluntary organisations to ensure that we meet employment and housing requirements to meet local needs.
Thank you once again for your interest and continued involvement. Keep up to date with how the plan is progressing by visiting www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/localplan
Cllr David Brown, Cheshire East Council – Strategic Communities Portfolio Holder and Deputy Leader of the Council