Saga of Cheshire East Local Plan resumes

Cheshire East Council has confirmed that it has received papers regarding a legal challenge against its recently adopted Local Plan, but details are yet to emerge as to the nature of the challenge.

Developer Muller Property is understood to be behind the application for a judicial review, which has been submitted just within the six-week window after the Local Plan was formally put in place earlier this summer.

The creation and adoption of the Cheshire East Local Plan has been a long-running saga, which has seen a draft and re-draft, extensive examination by a Government planning inspector, criticism over the housing figures, and the methods used to measure the borough’s need.

In spring this year, the inspector overseeing the plan gave the document his final approval following a raft of changes by the council and a thirteenth round of public consultation, and Cheshire East adopted the plan on 27 June.

The plan includes provision for a housing requirement of at least 36,000 new homes and 939 acres of development land. There are 60-plus strategic sites within the Local Plan, including the proposed North Cheshire Garden Village at Handforth.

The document has been seven years in the making, the last three of which have been spent receiving public comments and submissions on the council’s proposed strategic blueprint.

Details are yet to be revealed as to what aspect of the plan is being contested. A judicial review acts as a challenge of the legality of a particular planning decision, rather than a debate over its merits. Given the extensive nature of the Local Plan document, there are several elements which could be the target of a legal challenge.

Muller was unavailable to comment when contacted by Place North West.

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