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Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Potential Local Plan Sites Unveiled

 

Cheshire East Council has unveiled its proposed development sites for potential inclusion in the final Local Plan later this year.

The planning blueprint, which has been three years in the making following five extensive and thorough public consultations, will set out proposals for new employment sites, homes, road infrastructure projects, as well as new schools and green spaces.

Within these proposed sites, there is less than 1 per cent of the green belt sacrificed to accommodate new developments across the whole borough.

Leader of Cheshire East Council Councillor Michael Jones said he was determined to ensure that the Council’s proposed Local Plan will be one of the best in the country.

He said: “We’ve listened and we’ve acted. The proposed selection of sites will support not just the Council’s vision for sustainable growth, but most importantly the people’s vision too.

“Rather than increasing the size of villages in the north and south, we are proposing a new village called the North Cheshire Growth Village in Handforth East.

“There are some difficult decisions to make but we believe that what we are now proposing will set out a solid blueprint for our future that will protect us from speculative and opportunistic developers, many of whom place profit before principles.”

The Local Plan is a legal document, the process of which must prove to be highly robust if the Planning Inspectorate is to approve next year.

This stage of the Local Plan, entitled the ‘Core Strategy’, will be lodged with the Planning Inspectorate around the end of the year.

Councillor Jones added: “A sound Local Plan is our best defence against unwanted development and this should not be rushed.

“It is a highly legal process and there must be no doubt that the public are fully engaged and are able to make the necessary representations to influence the process.

“I am proud to say that the consultation responses – more than 28,000 of them – have indeed helped this Council shape the Local Plan to this stage.”

As part of the Local Plan vision, £1billion will be invested into the road infrastructure to ensure connectivity across the Borough promotes business and employment opportunities.

Loss of the greenbelt was a contentious issue for many campaign groups, but it now looks as if less than 1 per cent of the greenbelt will be developed. The Council’s Brownfield First policy has ensured that the borough’s greenbelt will be protected as much as possible.

The proposed Core Strategy sites of the Local Plan will now go to the Council’s Strategic Planning Board on September 26th for comment and consideration. The Board will also be asked if they consider further public consultation is necessary.

The final Core Strategy Local Plan will then be completed and presented to a future meeting of full council. To receive email alerts on the next stages of the Local Plan go to: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/localplan.

To have your say on the next stage of the Local Plan visit: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/localplan. Any public representations made at this stage will go direct to the Planning Inspector via this link.

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