Developers call for local plan examination to be suspended

A number of developers are calling for the examination of the Cheshire East Local Plan to be suspended.

A document submitted on behalf of Jones Homes, Redrow Homes, Royal London Asset Management and The Tatton Estate states that "the concerns in respect of the process of plan preparation are serious and substantial".

These concerns relate to the duty to co-operate (especially with regard to green belt, housing and highway infrastructure issues), the omission of an alternative in the Strategic Environmental Assessment which would deliver over 1600 houses per annum - which is described as "an egregious error which must be remedied before the examination can proceed - and the use of an employment growth rate of 0.4% "which is seriously below the consistent evidence base now available".

The report also describes the approach that has been taken in assessing where and how much land should be released from the green belt as "an evidential dogs breakfast which is manifestly an ex post facto exercise".

It continues "Based upon the eclectic evidence base as well as the profoundly flawed out-turn it does not comprise the sort of exercise that warrants a finding other than that the plan is unsound absent a root and branch reassessment."

The developers are calling for the examination to be suspended, for the Inspector to provide interim conclusions on the cases put to him so far and for CEC to be provided with sufficient time to seek to remedy any deficiencies identified by the Inspector. In order that CEC can prepare further evidence, further Strategic Environmental Assessment work, liaise further with adjacent local planning authorities and in due course make modifications "based upon a proper evidence base".

A document submitted on behalf of Haddon Property Developments, entitled "Pulling the Plug" also calls for the examination to be suspended saying "At this stage it would be premature to suggest how precisely the examination should proceed; but in the view of Haddon Property Developments Ltd, a "pause" in the scheduled sessions is indicated at the end of week 2 to consider these matters".

The Planning Inspector, Stephen Pratt has been appointed to conduct the examination of the Cheshire East Local Plan to determine whether the Local Plan Strategy is sound and can be adopted by the Council

Hearings began on Tuesday September 16th at Macclesfield Town Hall and are set to continue until the end of October, with a break during the week commencing October 13th.

For further information regarding the Local Plan examination check the Cheshire East Council website.

Local Plan


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Nick Jones
Friday 26th September 2014 at 3:24 pm
Well this will be a David v Goliath clash of legal departments wont it !...Hearing after Hearing, Appeal after Appeal.. ............Are CEC really equipped and able to do battle ??? ...
I have reservations on that one....Meanwhile public objection ignored and the cash cow of litigation at public expense commences....
Desmond Williams
Tuesday 30th September 2014 at 3:17 pm
Of course the developers will be critical of the draft local plan it does not open the doors to all of them to develop areas of land which should be protected especially green belt or green areas.These are likely to cost less than building on brown sites which is more expensive and in some cases not as easy to sell to customers.The Government has now enacted a subsidy for building on brown field sites of which there are some in the area.It is important that the Council does not give way on resisting the demands of those developers who would like the freedom to cover large green areas to give them a pool of sites to develop.