Cheshire East Council is to move forward on the next phase of Cheshire East's development plan which includes proposals for three new housing developments in Alderley Edge.
The site allocations and development policies document (SADPD), which forms the second part of the council's Local Plan, was considered by members of the authority's cabinet today (Tuesday, 6th August).
Members agreed to move towards the next round of public consultation on the draft document which, once finalised, will provide the approved framework for housing, employment, and other key infrastructure sites up to 2030.
Following directly on from the Local Plan Strategy adopted in 2017, the SADPD provides policies to guide new development, including housing, mainly within the smaller towns and larger villages - including Alderley Edge.
The majority of development needs have already been provided for through the Local Plan Strategy. The sites in the SADPD will be non-strategic – generally sites of fewer than 60 homes or two hectares (five acres) in size.
The SADPD identifies for development in the local service centres of Alderley Edge, Audlem, Bollington, Chelford, Disley, Holmes Chapel, Mobberley and Prestbury.
In sites allocated for development in Alderley Edge are:
Site ALD 1 - Land adjacent to Jenny Heyes The land adjacent to Jenny Heyes is allocated for residential development for around 10 new homes. This greenfield site is 0.47 ha in size and is located to the north east of Alderley Edge, on Heyes Lane.
Site ALD 2 - Ryleys Farm, north of Chelford Road The land at Ryleys Farm, north of Chelford Road is allocated for residential development for around 45 new homes. This greenfield site is 1.6 ha in size and is located to the west of Alderley Edge, north of Chelford Road.
Site ALD 4 - Land north of Beech Road The land north of Beech Road is allocated for residential development for around 35 new homes.This greenfield site is 2.9 ha in size and is located to the north of Alderley Edge, north of Beech Road.
Additionally safeguarded land is identified in Green Belt areas and may be required to meet longer-term development needs.
Land allocated for safeguarding in Alderley Edge is:
Site ALD 3 - Ryleys Farm (safeguarded) Land at Ryleys Farm is designated as 2.70 ha of safeguarded land. It remains in the open countryside and is not allocated for development at the present time.
The public consultation will start on Wednesday 14th August, continuing for a period of 6 weeks.
Seconding the recommendation to begin the six-week consultation period, Councillor Craig Browne said: "Whilst I am pleased to support the recommendation, it is important for us to remember that a consultation is an opportunity for the Council to listen to the views of residents and to consider their feedback. We welcome alternative suggestions where these are accompanied by strong evidence to support that they represent a better option."
When adopted, the SADPD will replace the old policies of the three former borough local plans, covering Macclesfield, Congleton and Crewe and Nantwich, dating back to 2004, and address current planning issues – such as climate change mitigation, housing for older people and improving the quality and variety of new homes.
Councillor Toni Fox, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for planning, said: "This plan takes account of consultation responses to the draft document published last September and I'm gratified that extra effort has been made in recent months to engage with town and parish councils about the proposals.
"Having reviewed the options, we recognised the need to have a robust and up-to-date planning framework to avoid further unplanned and speculative developments that took place in our borough in recent years. To reflect the changed planning guidance from Whitehall, we are putting in place a raft of refreshed planning policies that will better equip us to shape and manage sustainable development in Cheshire East.
"As well as updating our planning policies, the SADPD identifies new development areas to meet the needs of some settlements and particular sections of our communities. Among these are plans for fresh residential sites for Gypsies and Travellers and a new transit site to provide safe and regulated accommodation for those passing through the borough.
"In some locations, small allocations are proposed in the greenbelt. This is necessary to meet localised needs in those villages and to ensure no further greenbelt changes are made until at least the 2040s.
"Completion of the site allocations plan is an important step towards securing a strong and resilient basis for planning in Cheshire East, including maintaining a five-year supply of housing land. We want to be able to review our Local Plan in future from a position of strength – without risking a planning free-for all."
In 2018/19 a record 3,062 new homes were completed in Cheshire East.
Cllr Fox added: "Despite increased home building, our five-year supply continues to be challenged by sections of the development industry, determined to promote sites outside the Local Plan. The current Local Plan target of 1,800 homes per year is reflective of past economic ambitions and is almost 50 per cent higher than the government's own calculation of housing need for the borough using their new methodology.
"We want to move promptly to a position where our five-year supply targets properly reflect the revised approach towards identifying housing requirements using the national methodology – and so we will be looking to assess which parts of Local Plan Strategy need to be reviewed and updated.
"To do this, we need to move on with the rest of the Local Plan and so publish the SADPD for formal consultation. This will allow the plan to progress to external examination, where all parties can seek independent scrutiny."
The document is available online and residents can comment directly via an online consultation portal on the council's website.
The deadline for receipt of comments by the council is 5pm on 30th September.
The council's strategic planning team is available to answer any questions about the consultation and provide assistance to anyone wishing to comment on the SADPD document via email or by phoning 01270 685893.