Residents vote in favour of Tattenhall plan

Simon Donohue

Residents have voted overwhelmingly in favour of the adoption of a neighbourhood plan which would limit housing developments to smaller schemes of no more than 30 homes in Tattenhall, Cheshire.

However, the proposed Tattenhall Neighourhood Plan remains the subject of a legal challenge and cannot be introduced by Cheshire West & Chester Council until the High Court has determined judicial review proceedings.

Housebuilders Barratt Homes and Wainhomes, who have both applied for permission to build larger housing developments in the area, have called for a judicial review of the plan. Taylor Wimpey withdrew its objections on Friday 11 October and is no longer seeking a judicial review.

The referendum on the Tattenhall Neighbourhood Plan only went ahead after agreement was reached on Wednesday with Barratt Homes and Wainhomes to withdraw their application for an interim injunction against Cheshire West & Chester Council and chief executive, Steve Robinson, which would have obliged both to suspend the ballot.

The ballot produced a 51.86% turnout of the 1,822 eligible voters, with 905 votes in favour of the plan and 38 against it.

Residents were asked to respond to the question: "Do you want Cheshire West & Chester Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Tattenhall and District to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?"

Barratt Homes and Wainhomes claim the plan is flawed on technical grounds and question the impartiality of its independent examiner, Nigel McGurk.

If their legal challenge is successful, it could mean that another independent examination and referendum might have to take place.

Cllr Mike Jones, leader of Cheshire West & Chester Council, said: "The legal challenge is extremely disappointing but the authority will strongly contest the claimant's allegations which, we believe, are without foundation."

Wainhomes has applied to build 137 homes on land at Greenlands, Tattenhall and Barratt, 68 homes on land opposite Brookhall Cottages.

The Tattenhall Neighbourhood Plan, the first in the borough and only the fourth in England, advocates that 'large scale, inappropriate development along existing village boundaries will not be supported by the community'.

The plan, which took 400 volunteer hours to prepare, suggests that future development is limited to housing groups of no more than 30.

Tattenhall's neighbourhood plan would take precedence over the local plan on non-strategic issues, providing a framework for sustainable development for the village, which has attracted numerous development applications from housebuilders.

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