Residents in two Cheshire East villages are being asked for their thoughts on plans that will shape how their communities develop in future.
Audlem and Brereton are the first of 23 parish councils to submit their Neighbourhood Plans to Cheshire East Council and the authority is now consulting with residents to get their thoughts.
Neighbourhood planning gives communities the ability to choose where they want new homes, shops and offices to be built, have their say on what those new buildings should look like and what infrastructure should be provided.
Councillor Ainsley Arnold, Cabinet member in charge of housing and planning, said: “The Council has made a big commitment to helping our residents prepare neighbourhood plans that shape how their communities will develop.
“The excellent work done by Audlem and Brereton is a great example of how we can work together across our communities to deliver the things that really matter when it comes to local plan making.
“Neighbourhood planning is really taking off in Cheshire East with 23 of our communities actively involved in the plan-making process and a lot more in the early stages of discussion.
“It’s an excellent way for residents to take ownership of those really important issues that we all grapple with in the planning system and we’ve expanded the neighbourhood planning team to make sure this happens. I look forward to seeing more of our communities submit plans to us and to steering them through the process.”
Once consultation on the two village’s proposed plans has been completed, an independent examination and local referendum will follow. Once these stages have been completed, Cheshire East can adopt them as part of its statutory Development Plan to help it decide planning applications.
Councillor Jane Deans, vice chair of Brereton Parish Council, said: “The parish council is fully supportive of the principles of neighbourhood planning and is very encouraged by the many positive comments received during the pre-submission consultation period in April earlier this year.
“We are very pleased to have reached this milestone of submitting Brereton’s Neighbourhood Plan to the local planning authority for wider publication and consideration after two years of hard work by the project team.
“We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Cheshire East Council over the remaining months of the neighbourhood planning stages, and to reach the final milestone of having our plan fully made.”
Councillor Heather Jones, from the Audlem Neighbourhood Plan steering group, said: “Audlem’s Neighbourhood Plan is the result of months of time and effort from members of the steering committee and other volunteers who have consulted extensively with residents to produce a detailed document outlining what our community wants for the parish over the next 15 years.
“Parish councillors are delighted that residents’ views are being formally taken into consideration in planning decision making and we look forward to seeing the plan made in the not too distant future.”
To view and comment on either plan, visit www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/neighbourhoodplanning
The current consultation on these plans will close on September 21 at 7pm.