Cheshire East Council can now demonstrate a housing land supply figure of more than seven years – giving a further boost to the house building sector and home buyers.
It will mean greater opportunity for people wanting to get on the housing ladder, access affordable housing or move into a new home. It should also mean a smoother passage for planning applications and a ‘red line’ for unplanned, uncoordinated schemes in the wrong place.
The figure of 7.2 years supply of housing land places the council comfortably above the five-year threshold, which all councils are expected to demonstrate when contesting undesirable planning applications.
Under national planning policy, planning inspectors can approve controversial applications where a planning authority, such as Cheshire East, cannot prove that it
has a five-year housing land supply – an issue which has led to a number of unpopular housing schemes on green belt or in the green gap in previous years.
Assessments of housing supply normally take place annually and recent changes in national policy, together with a record number of housing completions in Cheshire East, have combined to create a far more favourable position for the council, when demonstrating its development land provision in 2018.
Councillor Ainsley Arnold, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for housing, planning and regeneration, said: “This assessment means we can properly provide for the market and the affordable homes that local people need, as well as maintaining a sustainable workforce for our thriving economy. This gives us a sufficient margin to ensure we have full control over our planning decisions in future.
“I’m encouraged that many house builders are working positively with us and cracking on with getting new homes built in a prompt and planned manner. We can now focus on ensuring that the remaining sites in our local plan are implemented as soon as possible.”
As of 31 March 2018, the council had a requirement of 12,630 new dwellings over five years. It is now able to deliver 18,250 new homes – the equivalent of a 7.2-year housing land supply.