Wilmslow and Handforth set for over 3000 new homes as Council adopts its Local Plan

Local Plan front cover

Cheshire East Council has today sealed the formal adoption of its Local Plan which sets out the overall vision and planning strategy for development in Cheshire East and allocates 900 new homes for Wilmslow and 2200 new homes for Handforth by 2030.

Approval by a meeting of full council today (Thursday, 27th July) follows three years of submissions and 11 separate rounds of public consultation which generated a total of more than 60,000 comments - which represents an unprecedented level of interest in a council consultation process.

Councillor Rachel Bailey, leader of Cheshire East Council said today: "It has been a long and sometimes difficult journey but we understood the importance of getting this blueprint right – and the adoption of our Local Plan is great news for the people of Cheshire East.

"The Local Plan is the council's most important tool for shaping development in Cheshire East to 2030 – so today is a landmark for this authority, local businesses and our residents."

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, Cheshire East cabinet member for housing and planning, said: "The planning inspector acknowledged that our Local Plan was one of the most complex and consulted upon he had seen in his more than 20 years' experience.

"There has been a tremendous response from our residents and other stakeholders during the very extensive rounds of public consultations and I'm sure it has allowed everyone to feel they had the opportunity to have their say on the plan.

"Our Local Plan has been shown to be both comprehensive and robust and will give the people of Cheshire East its best protection against unplanned and unsustainable development. It also gives shape to where future growth in housing, employment and infrastructure will be accommodated within our borough."

Planning Inspector Mr Pratt said in his final report in June: "I consider the overall development strategy for Cheshire East, including the provision for housing and employment land, is soundly based, effective, deliverable, appropriate, locally distinctive and justified by robust, proportionate and credible evidence and is positively prepared and consistent with national policy."

Sean Hannaby, the council's director of planning and strategic development, said: "As a council, we are picking up the challenge from Whitehall to accelerate delivery of new homes to meet demand.

"Under our Local Plan we see a significant increase in our new-build to 1,800 homes per year. The plan also identifies more than 2,500 acres of land for housing – an area equivalent to around 2,600 football pitches.

"We have already been building houses at an increasing rate to help meet demand, with completions totalling 1,760 homes in 2016/17 – a four-fold increase on the figure for 2010/11. On top of that we have 400 sites currently under construction and current planning consent for more than 20,000 homes.

"I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the incredible hard work of our officers and members to successfully deliver a robust Local Plan for the people of Cheshire East."

Cheshire East's Local Plan includes provision for a housing requirement of at least 36,000 new homes and 380 hectares of development land, to reflect a stronger anticipated jobs growth rate of 0.7 per cent per annum.

The inspector endorsed all of the 60-plus strategic sites within the Local Plan, including larger-scale proposals, such as the North Cheshire Garden Village at Handforth where up to 1500 homes will be built.

Cheshire East's Local Plan allocates 900 new homes in Wilmslow and 2200 new homes in Handforth by 2030.

The proposals for Wilmslow are: 175 at Royal London (around 80 on land to the east of the existing campus, around 20 to the north of the existing campus and around 75 on land west of Alderley Road), 200 at Little Stanneylands and 150 at Heathfield Farm with 97 listed as being completed and 305 having already been committed by March 2016.

In Handforth the expected level of development is 2200 new homes, in addition to the 1500 at the North Cheshire Garden Village at Handforth, located off the A34 opposite Handforth Dean Retail Park, the plan includes 250 on land between Clay Lane and Sagars Road.

The Council's strategy includes making amendments to just under 2% of the borough's green belt land.

For further information about the Local Plan, recent consultations and links to key documents, visit 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
Thursday 27th July 2017 at 6:54 pm
More like...Adopts its own party plan, not the one presented by residents or that they elected cllrs to represent . More evidence why Cllrs / politicians should be regularly changed like a nappy.
David Hoyle
Thursday 27th July 2017 at 7:15 pm
Will there be extra schools,doctors and dentists to cope with all the extra people.
Chris Neill
Thursday 27th July 2017 at 8:14 pm
It's just too many. And for all the reasons people have submitted.Those of us who live here know it already with existing overbuild. We are about to lose what used to be a pleasant place to live. It's creaking already, the quality is going, and we can't save it from itself. How very, very sad this is.
Lesley Seddon
Thursday 27th July 2017 at 9:56 pm
Sacrilege to build on green belt land when there are other areas in the vicinity available. With the airport city and this, Wilmslow and Handforth are set to become a Manchester conurbation. Very sad indeed.
Julian Barlow
Friday 28th July 2017 at 4:42 am
Public representation is as relevant to councilors as juggling is to a cat. Why do we continue to pay these self serving buffoons? There is no benefit whatsoever to the existing residents of Wilmslow who provide the wages for these idiots and yet have to watch helplessly as our countryside is destroyed, our diabolically maintained roads deteriorate further, traffic congestion becomes even more horrendous and our over subscribed schools and medical facilities become impossible to access. The many negative consequences of these developments are blindingly obvious to the general public yet invisible to the "experts" who are supposed to represent us. It's like paying someone to punch you in the face.
Fiona Doorbar
Friday 28th July 2017 at 5:48 am
When I last enquired at the council schooling department I was informed there are no plans for additional high school places in the Wilmslow High catchment (which is a huge catchment area btw already)
If anyone reading this has an update on this then please let us readers know.
Roger Bagguley
Friday 28th July 2017 at 2:55 pm
Fiona - The official position re secondary school provision given by Adrian Fisher, Head of Planning and Strategy, to Stephen Pratt, Government Inspector approving this Local Plan, at the hearing sessions devoted to Wilmslow, is that 706 additional places will be required. The RoW figure given to Stephen Pratt was 1000 given the number of young people from the wider catchment area currently not able to access the High School. To read in September a young person from Alderley Edge is offered a place at Tytherington High School just confirms the current appalling situation that CEC seems so far to not be addressing.

As an additional piece of information, in the same conversation with Stehen Pratt, Adrian Fisher confirmed the additional required places will be provided on land already allocated in the Local Plan and not on additional land within the Green Belt not yet identified. Thus one can only assume there is some discussion going on about whether this will be on the Handforth Village site, or thereabouts, or on an expanded Wilmslow High School. At this point in time it is proving very difficult to tap into what is being discussed as with all other
infrastructure needs. The RoW understanding of planning for such needs is that it is based upon a 'Suck it and see' model.

Sorry I cannot be more informative at this point but assure all RoW will keep harassing CEC until we get the answers people desperately need to have. In the meantime it might be interesting for people to find out from their local ward councillors why they were able to vote
through acceptance of this Local Plan with so much essential detail missing?
Fiona Doorbar
Friday 28th July 2017 at 3:08 pm
Roger Thankyou for your informative reply.
Provision for education and health care should be an integral part of the whole planning process IMO.
It is ludicrous that, time after time, planning is applied for and passed and yet the 'powers that be' appear to be allowed to not address this time bomb of an issue.
Please do keep us all informed.
As a parent who went down the path of appealing to get my son into a school (WHS) less than 2 miles away I feel very concerned for those parents that choose to move into these proposed properties should nothing be done about the situation. The kids will no doubt be shipped out to schools further afield in taxis funded by CEC as this is what currently happens.
Steven Kingsby
Friday 28th July 2017 at 4:17 pm
These councillors should be ashamed of themselves. Do they not have any self respect for their own surroundings or maybe they don't care. Is it the revenue they want?
They not only do not represent residents but actually appear to be in opposition to them.
I have lived on the Wilmlsow/Handforth border for 25 years, how the area has changed and for all the wrong reasons.
When my circumstances are suitable I'm off.
I dread to think we pay these people. At the next opportunity lets get rid of these idiots.
Manuel Golding
Friday 28th July 2017 at 5:19 pm
RoW attended yesterday's Full Council to approve the much derided LP. Our forensic analysis clearly shows the Council's projected population growth assumption and the consequential house build numbers are massively over estimated. Below is a transcript of the RoW presentation. With experience, we believe it was better to focus on the borough wide pain rather than colloquial Wilmslow & Handforth's Green Belt destruction - south of the borough has been under developer siege for years and they would not be at all sympathetic to our cries of horror having undergone their own pain.

" Manuel's presentation to CE Council Meeting, 27th July 2017, on behalf of Residents of Wilmslow
The housing requirement numbers & population growth projections for the Local Plan is based on a total misleading set of figures, the strategy being to frighten councillors to not delve, to not ask pertinent questions that will expose the LP as a sham. The figures I will be quoting are all available from official sources, ONS website etc, so do not take my word, look for yourselves –

The Borough’s predicted population growth 2014 to 2030 totals 22,877 persons (source ONS 24/7/17 – we have not been able to source figures for 2010 to 2014). – extrapolating 22,877 divided by 16 yrs=1430 persons x 20 yrs = 28,596 persons growth over 20 years.

The dwelling requirements for this predicted growth is @ 2.37 persons per dwelling= 9,653 dwellings (the 2.37 persons per dwelling calculated from CE Local Plan)

CE Local Plan calls for 36,000 new dwellings from 2010 to 2030 – based on CEs sums, predicted population growth would be 36,000 homes x 2.37 persons per dwelling = 85,320 persons over 2 0 years i.e. average increase of 4260 persons per year.

However the ONS predicts CEs average annual population growth of 1,430 persons a year – ONE THIRD OF THE GROWTH THAT CE & MR PRATT HAVE ADVOCATED.

These official growth predictions show clearly the immediate need for a reduction in new builds across the Borough, to avoid reaching an unsustainable situation re lack of infrastructure .

The maths is simple, the official growth forecasts are clearly to be seen should anyone take the trouble to look.

I suggest that far too many have been seduced by fear & have been mislead by officials who we should have expected to be more straightforward.

This part of the plan is clearly unsound, will be attacked by appeals & judicial reviews and should, neigh must be withdrawn by this Council for further in depth consideration.

My figures also clearly show the 5 Years Supply requirement will be substantially reduced thus adding further protection for the Council, planners & citizens against the relentless greed of developers. This will be a massive benefit to residents the whole borough, north & south, east & west.

This data has been independently & professionally audited and we welcome your scrutiny."

(ONS = Office of National Statistics)

Come the vote, the Conservative lemmings lined up like sheep jumping over the cliff.The ONLY Wilmslow councillor to vote against the LP and thus to protect the town's Green Belt was RoWs Toni Fox (Dean RoW), with the remaining Wilmslow councillors, Garry Barton & Ellie Brooks (both West ward), Rod Menlove (East ward) and Don Stockton (Lacey Green) all voting as their Conservative party dictated. Both Handforth's independent councillors,Barry Buckhill and Dennis Mahon, voted against unnecessarily destroying the Green Belt.
Dave Cash
Saturday 29th July 2017 at 12:58 am
What was the total final vote For/Against/abstain?
Toni Fox
Saturday 29th July 2017 at 9:03 am

From my notes 20 voted against, 1 abstained, 49 voted for.

Those who voted against were 4 Independents (including myself), 13 Labour and 3 Conservatives (from Poynton and Macclesfield).

From the public consultations that have already been taking place I would anticipate the Council will receive planning applications for all four site allocations in Wilmslow later this year or early 2018.

Heathfield Farm, off Dean Row Road. 170 houses
Little Stanneylands. 200 houses.
Royal London. 175 houses.
Clay Lane/Sagars Road. 250 houses. (Despite being included in Handforth in the Local Plan this site is actually within the Lacey Green ward in Wilmslow).

The audio recording of the meeting is available on the councils website - link below.


Councillor Toni Fox - Independent
Dean Row Ward
Nick Jones
Saturday 29th July 2017 at 10:06 am
Credit to Toni Fox, Barry Buckhill and Dennis Mahon + 1 other independent , along with 13 Labour and 3 Conservatives Cllrs in voting to represent their electorates view... Clearly demonstrating this was a non party issue. Barton Brooks Stockton and The Lyme Green Cllr yet again demonstrating why the electorate including previous Tory voters are actively disengaged in offering them support particularly when they chose to ignore them. But 3 Tories did demonstrate some mettle... How very telling ; We all know our Lyme Green Cllrs abysmal record with planning yet from that expensive public debacle asleep on his watch, followed by documented actions not to represent resident’s wishes voting on several occasions with his lemming colleagues, to decimate / eradicate green belt, now demonstrated at Royal London. Hypocritical? Well the Wilmslow electorate can decide that at the ballot box. Actions always speak louder than words, 3 Tories by their action deserve credit along with the 13 Labour and 4 Independents... but here are some of words proffered by the Lyme Green Cllr; At the WTC election; "I have worked closely with the town council over the years to counter threats to the local Green Belt – something I will continue to do" ??.... "I am on record as supporting building on brownfield sites before green areas and on allowing offices to be converted to housing. I have publicly opposed any housing on the Royal London site…” ?? Lyme Green [building on brownfield site without permission]; “This, I am sure everyone will agree, has been a wholly regrettable incident and one that has caused the reputation of the council to be called into question…… I cannot though, in all conscience, ignore the fact this situation arose on my watch ..” ?? Ironic ?? No... HISTORY REPEATING ITSELF. How much has Lyme Green cost ?? volunteer a full and frank disclosure not personally inhibited from doing alongside an explanation why again failing the ward electorate over the LP issue. The charade of consultation further demonstrating media measured spin in producing and releasing the L/P . This continues the Non-compliance to Govt planning policy / Ignoring Brownfield development . Dont forget Adlington “Never build on these fields” Road / uncontrolled Land Banking... All merely evidences fiscal control by developers not furnishing any CEC requirement as the ONS statistics indicate. A Flawed Plan, that ignores local views supporting meaningful / appropriate development, imposed by those who should have listened to their electorate. The only way we can get rid of these maverick Cllrs is at the ballot box, that day can now not come too soon. Residents will not forget the harm caused by those who should have listened. Shame on you!
Terry Roeves
Saturday 29th July 2017 at 2:33 pm
And Cllrs should have already known of the fiddled air pollution values, making a nonsense of the spacial distribution.
In which case, Cllrs who voted in favour are putting residents lives at risk.
With 40,000 deaths annually due to atmospheric pollution (govn. figs),
The council leader should get the economic growth and spacial distribution reviewed to then have a revote.
Pete Taylor
Saturday 29th July 2017 at 2:36 pm
Hardly a surprise that the Tatton Tory Cllrs danced to their paymaster's tune. However, what about their electorate? How do ordinary Tory voters feel about being sold down the river by those they put in place to represent and (old-fashioned concept) serve them?
Manuel Golding
Saturday 29th July 2017 at 5:08 pm
To answer Pete Taylor's and others concerns, "How may I show my displeasure with my Conservative councillors?" Residents of Wilmslow would like to hear from anyone who maybe interested in standing up for Wilmslow by considering being a RoW independent candidate in the next round of council elections in 2019.
Nothing lost by having a chat in strict confidence. You can contact RoW by phoning 07930 377778 or emailing to-
We look forwards to hearing from you.
Roger Bagguley
Saturday 29th July 2017 at 5:36 pm
Councillors voting to adopt this Local Plan did so knowing far more Green Belt is now gone than is needed to achieve the required growth. Wilmslow Councillors have known all along the CEC official housing figures have lagged far behind the actual yet have never challenged. Had they kept their own records as RoW has done then up to two of the allocated sites may well have been saved. No Little Stanneylands, no Heathfield Farm! As they have always favoured development of the Royal London site for offices then why not for houses too? RoW has claimed all along brown sites in Wilmslow wìll provide a very significant windfall rate. The CEC assessment of some 3 years ago claimed 12 units were possible yet today we see 57 units almost completed at Chapelwood, 28 on the way at Holly Road North, 10 at Chapel Lane, 15 at Ned Yates Garden Centre, 8 approved at the
Rifleman's Arms and so it goes on. Then we could be seeing the beginning of very welcome windfall with the conversion of offices at Citation Court to 20+ apartments. It is the failure to use these windfall figures to reduce the call on the Green Belt that is, for me, the real betrayal of Wilmslow residents by CEC and our councillors, The exception being Toni Fox, Indepenent Dean RoW and supported by RoW.

Just suppose the mis-calculation for Wilmslow at 69% is repeated across the whole of the Borough then the 36,000 target becomes 60, 000 houses completèd by 2030. And what if the ONS figure is badly flawed as presented to councillors at their meeting by RoW Manuel Golding? All of this mathematics could and should have been factored in by officers and councillors before agreeing to trash the Green Belt. We have some very interesting times ahead with this Plan. Without doubt there will be regular legal challenges re the 5 year supply and some very nervous councillors who may well be held to account come the elections in 2019.

In the meantime continue to queue on the A34 and find your way around a closed Styal Road. Be held up at temporary lights as developments are connacted into the existing drains etc., suffer until you can get an appointment at the doctors and worry about whether your kids will get into the school of your choice.

But be reassured, it is good for Cheshire East says Rachel Bailey, our very own Pied Piper.
Dave Cash
Sunday 30th July 2017 at 1:49 am
Any qualifying resident can stand as an Independent candidate for election to CEC/WTC if they do not wish to accept a mainstream Party's 'shilling', as demonstrated by Toni Fox et al.
At each forthcoming Elections, more Independents need to be elected to overcome the voting stranglehold of the majority Party.
They will need some support to help with leafleting etc.
Roger Bagguley
Sunday 30th July 2017 at 6:28 am
Dave - RoW provides such support and much more. They research and challenge.
Julie Smith
Sunday 30th July 2017 at 11:30 am
49 votes FOR, 20 votes AGAINST? Looks like a landslide to me. That's democracy for you.
Alan Brough
Sunday 30th July 2017 at 6:59 pm
As a resident of Wilmslow East I would be interested in hearing from Rod Menlove on this subject. I know that he is a regular reader / contributor on the platform and as my representative on CE Council I would like to know his views.

Nobody that I have spoken to (and there have been many) supports the sort of development proposed for Handforth / Wilmslow, so how is it allowed to rumble on?

Cllr Menlove please explain?
Kathryn Blackburn
Monday 31st July 2017 at 3:48 pm
And whilst you are at it Mr Menlove do ask Rachel Bailey about the purchase of Green Belt land by Alderley Park Limited of which she is a board member on behalf of the 10% shareholding Cheshire East Council owns in that company. The question now is will the boundary be altered to Alderley Park to take in this acquired land so that the PARKLAND can then accommodate and be further enhanced by yet more executive mansions to add to those already given planning permission there ?
Monday 31st July 2017 at 5:14 pm
Kathryn - seems to me that Alderley and Nether Alderley are being lined up ready for the next local plan. Cheshire East purchased land opposite Alderley Park in 2012 to save it from development apparently and now Alderley Park Ltd has purchased land attached to its existing land. I'm sure that the Councillor for "regeneration" must know what is taking place.
Roger Bagguley
Tuesday 1st August 2017 at 6:13 am
Jackie - Are you thinking the A537 Chelford Road will form a new hard line boundary for the Green Belt then eventually the new boundary for Greater Manchester and Cheshire East? Perish the thought. Not in 2030 I think but the future is predicted here. Every 20 years the Urban Monster chomps away at another chunk of Green Belt and there is no stopping it.
Richard Nolan
Wednesday 2nd August 2017 at 5:54 pm
From our point of view , that is My Wife and I
Richard and Janet Nolan are looking too move
From our ground floor flat to a Bungalow.
We Both suffer from a form of arthritis and like
A lot of elderly people , We need to swap are
Present living accommodation to more suitable home's
There are people We know who are like us,Sixty five to
Seventy years of age ,who are in Two and three bedroom
Houses and who need too downsize to smaller properties.
Therefore we need more homes built to accommodate us and the homeless ,
Don't forget Them .
Richard Nolan.
Christopher Baker
Wednesday 2nd August 2017 at 5:54 pm
You report that Councillor Ainsley Arnold, Cheshire East cabinet member for housing and planning, said (of the Local Plan): "There has been a tremendous response from our residents and other stakeholders during the very extensive rounds of public consultations and I'm sure it has allowed everyone to feel they had the opportunity to have their say on the plan...." Yes, I had the opportunity to contribute, but my message - like most others that I saw - was ignored or rejected.

I think that the authorities may live in a different world. "Each alternate universe carries its own different version of reality", wrote Stuart Clark in his article ".... evidence of parallel universes?" ---
Wednesday 2nd August 2017 at 6:14 pm
Richard - totally agree. Lots of people want to downsize as they get older - but to homes which are closer to "services" and which can meet their needs. The homes built so far in Wilmslow are mainly 4 and 5 bedroomed homes or in the "luxury flat" market. Only a handful of bungalows are being built. There has to be choice and the infrastructure in place to allow people to get to shops, doctors, dentists, hospitals and schools. Building a large number of houses on the supposition that that is all that is needed is not a solution but a problem.
John Featherstone
Wednesday 2nd August 2017 at 7:16 pm
why do we need more housing in Wilmslow ???????who are they for???????? the answer is to make money doesn't matter if its green belt money is the god it all boils down to money you lot on here are not daft surely you know that no matter what is said some were along the line it will be money that wins
Estelle Lewis
Wednesday 2nd August 2017 at 7:47 pm
A typical fait accompli by councillors. Ask for public opinion, put it to the vote when all the time this plan was going ahead anyway. Why bother with the 'majority vote' bull-poop? It's a joke.
Deleted Account
Thursday 3rd August 2017 at 1:34 am
And so, bang goes more greenbelt and up goes more pressure on schooling, roads, health and emergency services.

The plan makes no sense at all. If we have to build new homes then park the money making schenes and aim for

* brownfield sites
* affordable homes for locals and key workers priced out of SK9
* shared ownership

Thank God for common sense and councillors like Toni Fox and Barry Burkhill but when will the rest of Cheshire East listen to the voters and residents?
Dave Billington
Sunday 6th August 2017 at 2:28 am
May I ask why do we need more houses? Are our council members just trying to satisfy a directive from central government that was issued 2 years ago and still has momentum in local government because thats what local government are good at? Never, more than now, has it been highly likely that central government are so tied up with the 'Br____t' and couldn't give a 'S__t' about wilmslow, that local councils could actually make a few decisions on their own!

So i would ask our intrepid members of the the council, why do we actually need more houses? I would put my life savings on the fact that no member of East Cheshire Council could answer that question. Apart of course from saying......directive 021115 from department S/54c has dictated that .....blah blah blah.

Brexit is all about the UK deciding its own rules and not being dictated to by an invisible distant body of officials that have no idea what uk people want, need and care about.

The same goes for us. The residents of Wilmslow, Handforth and Alderley Edge care about our towns. There are people who have lived here for 60 years, and people like myself who have lived here for 15 years. We both want the same thing. To have our very fragile lifestyle and surroundings not messed with anymore.

Since I moved to Wilmslow I have met many people. And the overriding impression I have of them is they work very hard. They strive to make a better life for themselves and their families. And at ever turn of their lives the decisions of the council make their lives a misery.

The road works are appalling, and I intend to use the freedom of information act to retrieve ever piece of paper concerning decisions about roadworks. I will invoke a rule that I have unearthed regarding council dealing with utility companies and will promise to make these big thug companies pay for every set of irrelevant lights they have set up.

I will also use a very good team of experts to look into certain items of planning permission gained in recent months from Cheshire East. I am certain that every bit of planning by
Cheshire East is unscrupulously fair. But i will check just in case they made a mistake.

I have spent a lot of time making my house garden and community a nice place to live. there are hundreds of people like me i am sure.

To the council i ask the same question i started with. Why do we need more houses? Our schools are full.

We don't need more houses we need more towns.

Why don't you acquire some unused land between farm A that is operating at a loss and farm B the same.

Create a new town, new school and new living experience. Instead of trying to cram more into the few green spaces Wilmslow has.

Dave Billington
John Featherstone
Monday 7th August 2017 at 8:26 am
I think this Dave Billington has got it just about right
Roger Bagguley
Tuesday 8th August 2017 at 4:37 pm

You won't get an answer from our elected representatives so let me tell you what you already know. We have a growing population so must provide jobs and housing. Whilst I am not happy that the driving force is growth and wealth creation what really brasses me off is the fact all brownfield opportunities are ignored and so much of the green belt, so loved by Wilmslow people, is trashed.
Alan Brough
Tuesday 8th August 2017 at 8:39 pm
Disappointed to see that Rod Menlove has not responded to my question of a week or so ago.

I know that he reads this forum on a near daily basis and so, it would seem, he's selective with the issues he wants to engage in.

At a time when we need strong representation it is frustrating (though not unexpected) that our "representatives" wont engage.
Nick Jones
Wednesday 9th August 2017 at 7:58 am
@ Alan, Roger; The silence is yet again deafening, but as Abe Lincoln once declared; “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt “