Council warns of crackdown on developers who flout rules

Housing development image

Cheshire East Council is warning developers to stick to their promises when it comes to planning conditions – or face a crackdown to halt developments.

Councillor Toni Fox, the authority's cabinet member for planning, said tough enforcement action will be taken if developers continue to flout agreements and treat planning conditions 'as a tick-box exercise'.

Cheshire East remains one of the busiest planning authorities in the country and has been subject to a significant number of housing applications.

Planning permission is often granted 'subject to conditions', which enable the detail of the development to be agreed either before the work begins or by a set time within the construction process. These conditions can range from agreeing the colour of materials, through to technical matters involving contaminated land and drainage.

Cllr Fox said: "Since becoming the portfolio holder for planning in May, I have been contacted on numerous occasions by residents about developments starting before all the details have been agreed. Officers work hard on getting the detail on conditions discharged but all too often they face an uphill battle as developers continue to build.

"This has led to enforcement action and increasing disillusion among residents and our communities, who are coming to feel that the planning conditions imposed by the council are being disregarded by developers and are becoming tick-box exercises that mean little.

"The council wishes to work collaboratively with developers but it has to be within the bounds of the statutory processes. If not, then the system as a whole becomes undermined and trust from residents lost.

"I am, therefore, working with the council's acting head of planning to ensure that the appropriate priority is given to the discharge of conditions and openly advising developers that, if they do not get their appropriate permissions in place, then the council will seek to use its enforcement powers to stop construction."



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

Jonathan Follows
Thursday 3rd October 2019 at 3:14 pm
My previous experiences of planning in Cheshire East has been that permission is granted subject to conditions (times and days of the week usually), developers ignore the rules with excuses such as 'it rained' and the planning enforcement part of the council lets them off because they 'promised they wouldn't do it again', then on the second occasion the rules are broken the planning officials go into hiding.

So this sounds like good news if things are going to change for the better.
Manuel Golding
Friday 4th October 2019 at 4:36 pm
Residents of Wilmslow's councillors are already showing their worth to the town's voters, thanks to Cllr Toni Fox (Dean Row), aided by her RoW colleagues Cllrs David Jefferay (Wlm East),Mark Goldsmith (Wlm West) and Iain Macfarlane (Wlm West). They are clearly showing the value and trust voters put in all RoWs candidates at the May elections.
This is something RoW has been pressing for for some years but without the political representation at CEC our pleas were consistently ignored by the previous administration.
The fight will continue against the financially powerful but uncaring developers.
Chris Neill
Friday 4th October 2019 at 9:39 pm
Manuel, the last line in your comments sums it all up. As does the monstrosity known as " Chapelwood " . What a lovely name for a symbolic planning disaster for our small town. As well as a total failure to sell its overpriced, old people storage boxes, to a public who are not that daft, it has blighted us from day one, traffic problems, white van syndrome, as well as smashing our small roads to bits with cement mixers and all the artillery. Bet the ones who " developed" that place broke a few.
Jean Berman
Wednesday 9th October 2019 at 2:34 pm
What a shame you weren’t in operation last year as we might not have been saddled with the huge Lidl on our doorsteps. They certainly didn’t keep to the rules
Laurie Atterbury
Sunday 13th October 2019 at 6:26 pm
What about ensuring that developments are completed? A neighbour’s house on Grange Park Ave was never completed and for the past 5 years or so has looked like the toilet block on a campsite.Feel sorry for the immediate neighbours as must affect the market value of their property?