Cheshire East Council has taken a major step forward after rubber-stamping its official five-year housing land supply.
It means Cheshire East’s countryside should now be protected for the next five years against unsustainable speculative developers who are driven to build new houses purely for profit.
Deputy Leader Councillor David Brown said it signalled a clear victory for the Council in its fight to fend off unwelcome, unsustainable and unplanned development in the Borough.
The all-important document has been brought forward by the Council and should fend off speculative housing development applications until the Council’s Local Plan document is ratified by the Government later this year. The Local Plan will then provide a blueprint for necessary sustainable growth in terms of housing and infrastructure.
Councillor David Brown, Deputy Leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “What an achievement for the Council. I would like to thank all the hard-working officers in our planning team who have worked incredibly hard to achieve this over the last few months. We are now in a fantastic position to tackle the issue of unplanned, unwanted and unsustainable development.
“The five year housing supply should allow our towns to grow in a planned and sustainable way and will allow us to continue to finalise the Local Plan document.”
The housing sites identified in the SHLAA (Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment) were approved by the Cheshire East Council’s Strategic Planning Board. The SHLAA is required as a key piece of evidence to support the Council’s housing policies.
The SHLAA fits in with the Council’s brownfield first policy, identifying brownfield sites wherever possible. The Council will now need to review this document annually to ensure that the list of potential sites is kept updated and the Local Plan is ‘sound’ according to the new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The review will begin in April with a call for sites at this time.
Councillor Brown added: “This latest SHLAA update highlights the significant work that Cheshire East Council has undertaken in identifying a five year housing supply in the Borough; the Town Strategies, the Development Strategy and the Policy Principles documents all being consulted upon within the last year.
“This now enables us to begin addressing the Housing Growth Policy, based around existing towns, to meet local demand and ensure we meet our five year housing supply target of 6,510 homes over the next five years.”