Having submitted additional evidence to the Inspector at the end of July, Cheshire East Council has received confirmation that he is prepared to formally resume the Local Plan examination.
Last month, CEC submitted their additional evidence and suggested amendments to the Planning Inspector to address and rectify his criticisms - which resulted in the suspension of the Local Plan Examination at the end of last year. They also requested that he formally resumes the examination.
The Inspector confirmed on Friday, 14th August, that he is prepared to formally resume the examination but he has requested further information and clarification from the Council before making the arrangements to progress with the examination and resume the hearings.
Inspector Stephen Pratt has requested presentations and notes from the technical workshops and meetings which were held with stakeholders and Parish/Town Councils to discuss the additional evidence, as well as confirmation as to whether the concerns raised by other local authorities have been addressed.
The Inspector has also requested some clarification about how the increased housing and employment land requirements will be addressed in the Local Plan, particularly in terms of any additional or amended strategic sites.
The amendments to the Local Plan which were submitted to the inspector last month include increasing the overall housing requirement figure from 27,000 to 36,000 dwellings, the economic growth rate from 0.4% to 0.7%, the number of jobs from 13,000 to 31,400, and the amount of employment land from 351 to 380ha.
The suggested revisions include increasing the number of new homes proposed for Wilmslow from 400 to 900 and the provision of 10 rather than 8 hectares of employment land.
Whilst in Handforth, including the North Cheshire Growth Village, the number has been revised from 2000 to 2200 dwellings with 22 rather than 10 hectares of employment land.
Alderley Park is also included in the revision, with the potential for 200 to 300 new homes.
Inspector Pratt is proposing that the resumed examination should commence with a Procedural Meeting towards the end of September, in order to discuss procedural and housekeeping matters relating to considering the additional evidence and progressing the examination.
He anticipates that the first stage of the resumed hearings would then take place in late October or early November.