Cheshire East Council leader Michael Jones today welcomed the Chancellor’s announcement relaxing planning rules on brownfield sites.
In order to boost the country’s house-building programme, local authorities will be required to grant automatic planning consent to developers wishing to build on brownfield land.
Brownfield sites are sites that have been previously developed before being left to stand idle such as a disused factory.
Councillor Jones said: “I welcome this announcement by George Osborne as a policy to get many acres of waste land in our towns and cities turned into decent homes.
“This will stifle the temptation for developers to attack the greenbelt with the excuse that building on the greenbelt is essential to meet housing supply targets.
“Brownfield sites are not always attractive to developers because of the cost of clean up but hopefully the removal of planning red tape will provide them with the incentive they need.
“I echo the statement by the Business Secretary that this will speed up schemes and preclude the need for building in the green belt and we in Cheshire East see ourselves as a vanguard of this new policy.
“Here in Cheshire East we are under constant pressure to grant permissions on green belt and we want to protect the countryside on behalf of our residents.
“This policy will help us to do that.”
Cheshire East Council recently secured a £100,000 grant from the Department for Communities and Local Government to establish a local development order in Macclesfield where two brownfield sites will be cleaned up and prepared for development.
Although 77 per cent of homes in the borough have been built on brown sites in the last five years, the Macclesfield area has failed to meet the Council’s aspirations for more brownfield development.
Caroline Simpson, Cheshire East Council’s executive director of economic growth and prosperity said: ”Macclesfield is a good example of how this Council is encouraging brownfield development and in addition to this we are also offering grants to convert unused space above shops and commercial premises in the town centre to create living accommodation.
“Such a policy will help to breathe new life into our towns.”
Cheshire East has 181 brownfield sites currently under construction and a further 375 sites about to be developed giving a total of 3,696 new homes.
Around 47 hectares of brown land has been identified as having development potential and the capacity for more than 1,400 new homes.