Local Plan examination to be adjourned

The examination of the Cheshire East Local Plan is being suspended from Friday, 3rd October, to enable the Inspector to read the large number of representations made regarding the strategic sites and locations.

Kerry Trueman, Cheshire East Local Plan Programme Officer, confirmed "The hearings have been deferred because of the need to consider and digest the unexpected volume of statements and further evidence submitted for Matters 14 and 15*. The Council fully agrees with this approach."

The hearing sessions started on Tuesday September 16th and are scheduled to continue for a further three weeks.

The Planning Inspector, Stephen Pratt has suggested the examination is adjourned and commences on 20th October for two weeks with Week 6 likely to start on November 24th, as he is unavailable earlier in the month.

The Inspector is currently considering the Council's suggestion that the hearings are adjourned until the week commencing 24th November, then continue for the next three weeks, due to the non-availablty of key Council personnel. Also to allow them a reasonable period to prepare the Council's written responses to hearing statements submitted in respect of Matter 14*.

A spokesperson for Cheshire East Council said "The Council has sought to balance the important priority of concluding the hearing sessions as soon as practicable and, in any event, before the end of the year against the public interest of ensuring that the Inspector and all parties appearing at the examination hearing have an adequate opportunity to address the significant volume of material latterly submitted and are not unduly prejudiced. As before, the Council recognises that the Inspector has limited availability during November, which may require the Week 6 hearing sessions to be rescheduled in early December."

We will update as soon as we receive confirmation of the dates for weeks 4, 5 and 6 of the hearing sessions.

See the Cheshire East Local Plan Strategy - Examination Library for the latest information.

Cheshire East Council, Local Plan


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

Lisa Reeves
Friday 3rd October 2014 at 4:50 pm
Inspector's announcement at the close of the Cheshire East Local Plan hearing sessions today http://bit.ly/Z0DMS9
Sam Corcoran
Sunday 5th October 2014 at 5:25 pm
Anyone following the debacle of Cheshire East Council trying to put together a Local Plan might liken it to watching a car crash in slow motion. The latest delay will cause anxiety to all those who wish to protect the Cheshire countryside and local towns. The delay will also give developers more time to put in speculative housing applications on Greenfield sites around Cheshire East.

The Local Plan should have been in place long ago, but because the Conservatives did not allocate enough resources and had extra 'additional sites' consultations, the Local Plan is only now undergoing examination by an independent Inspector.

In May, Cllr David Brown said that our Local Plan "will be ratified this autumn". Given the latest delay, the examination hearings will continue into the winter and it is highly unlikely that the plan will be ratified before the spring of 2015.

We desperately need some competent leadership to bring a Local Plan to completion. In the meantime the towns in Cheshire East will be a honeypot for speculative housing developers. The government's relaxation of planning rules gives a presumption in favour of these housing applications and leaves the local authority scrabbling around trying to deal with the impact on local infrastructure.
Stuart Redgard
Tuesday 7th October 2014 at 2:48 pm
Sam: I agree that the process of Cheshire East Council trying to put together a Local Plan has been diabolical and the Conservative led council are the people responsible for this. Along with other fiascos such as Lyme Green, Bewilderewood, Romanys Caravan and the ongoing traveller issues in the north of the borough around Wilmslow and Handforth.

Lets hope that in May 2015 the electorate remembers this and votes accordingly. I along with other residents of the borough are already planning on standing as Independent Candidates in the Cheshire East local elections.
Pete Taylor
Tuesday 7th October 2014 at 10:22 pm
Not that I know anything about this but one might be forgiven for thinking that this painful foot-dragging, thereby allowing more and more speculative applications to be put forward prior to the Local Plan being signed off, has been contrived by certain Councillors and their cronies (sorry, financial supporters), who happen to, reportedly, already own swathes of the Green Belt around Alderley and Wilmslow for future development by their companies. Allegedly.