Unnamed Green Belt site earmarked for affordable housing

Cheshire East Council is looking to build some affordable housing on a Council-owned site in the Alderley Edge.

The council's wholly-owned company Engine of the North is looking to develop a small site in the village which lies within the Green Belt for a limited number of affordable dwellings.

However, at this stage Cheshire East Council will not reveal the exact location of the site as there are apparently issues to be resolved over the freehold.

Councillor Craig Browne said "I have had sight of the outline plans, which originally were for twelve semi-detached units, although I have suggested that it might be a good idea to incorporate a couple of bungalows into the final plans."

He added "I have been assured that the dwellings will be reserved for local people and will be available at approximately a 50% discount on the open market valuation. Currently, many young people who grow up in our village have to leave once they become adults, because there are simply no affordable starter homes available for them and for this reason, I am supportive of the proposals, in principle."

Local residents have been sent a Housing Needs Survey to complete by Cheshire East as they are seeking more detail about the current and future affordable housing needs within Alderley Edge Parish.

The covering letter states "Whether you consider yourself to have a housing need or not, the information that you provide is important."

Councillor Craig Browne explained "Although the site is previously developed land, it is technically within the Green Belt and this is why Engine of the North is obliged to carry out a housing needs survey before taking things anything further.

"I would encourage everyone to complete the survey, but if anyone has any questions, invite them to send me an email or drop in at my next surgery on Saturday 25th March at Aldeli."

Residents are requested to complete the survey and return in the pre-paid envelope by Friday, 21st April.

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Comments

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Giles Geddes
Thursday 16th March 2017 at 4:21 pm
Couple of questions;

Should people, by right of birth have access to discounted homes in affluent areas?

Should green belt ever be used to build upon when many brownfield sites are available?
Pete Taylor
Thursday 16th March 2017 at 9:45 pm
No but we need to restore the Council Housing which has been given away.


No.
Alan Brough
Thursday 16th March 2017 at 11:55 pm
It's impossible to make any informed comment on this "story" given the complete abstract background.

However, I would need some convincing regarding the imperative for building on Green Belt land... a loophole here is a loophole there etc ...... let's not go there!
Jon Williams
Friday 17th March 2017 at 10:06 am
Come on Craig, can we have the location please !
Pete Taylor
Friday 17th March 2017 at 10:32 am
Gavin Barwell, Housing Minister, speaking on BBC TV Sunday Politics: “Contrary to some of the press speculation, we’re not proposing to change the existing protection that are there for green belt”
“What planning policy says is that councils can remove land from green belt but only in exceptional circumstances and they should look at all of the alternatives before doing that and the white paper is not going to change that policy because we have a manifesto commitment…" http://bit.ly/2mPObgL

So; have exceptional circumstances been demonstrated and have all alternatives been examined first?
Craig Browne
Friday 17th March 2017 at 11:12 am
Hi Pete,

The exceptional circumstances are that it is previously developed land (i.e. a brownfield site) sitting within the green belt. For ease of comparison, both the "Yesterday's" and "County Hotel" sites come under the same description.

Unfortunately, I am forbidden to disclose the exact location due to ongoing issues with the freehold, which is frustrating and puts me in a very uncomfortable position. Suffice to say, it is not what most people would consider to be a greenfield site.

Kind regards,
Craig
Duncan Herald
Monday 20th March 2017 at 9:11 am
What will the 'Open Market Valuation' be? After the approx. 50% price cut, what will be the real-world price?

If that price is, in real terms, too great for people who need affordable housing, will there be 'special deals'/mortgages/whatever on offer ?

If not, who will actually get the housing?

Who and how will decide which 'lucky few' get to buy these affordable houses? A lottery?
Alec Finney
Tuesday 21st March 2017 at 3:17 pm
I have received the survey document and have some questions about ‘affordable housing’.

My question is simple – why is there a need to do this? I agree it must be a disappointment for families when the children can’t afford to live in the village in which they were brought up – but why is it the council’s job to mitigate this problem.

It I just a fact that this is a good place to live in – and house prices reflect this.

In the explanation of terms I see ‘Housing Need’ is defined as ‘a person who lives in unsuitable housing…..etc’ This prompts the definition of ‘unsuitable’, which is not present.

Isn’t this project a form of social engineering? Fighting the market with scarce resources? I see the good will in what is being done but it is a very bad waste of the council’s time and rmoney.

I totally agree with the initiative to help people live safely – that is not fighting the market – but a measure of social care for the vulnerable.

We see every day that the needs of an aging population will but more pressure on council budgets. It’s all about spending priorities and the money spent on a well meaning but pointless investment in the oxymoron of ‘affordable housing’ should be spent elsewhere.

Alec Finney

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