Council backtracks on Alderley Edge sites proposed for development

building homes

Cheshire East Council is proposing to make a number of revisions to the second part of its Local Plan Strategy - known as the site allocations and development policies document (SADPD),which identifies sites for development in the local service centres of Alderley Edge, Audlem, Bollington, Chelford, Disley, Holmes Chapel, Mobberley and Prestbury.

The SAPPD is now progressing and the latest draft has been revised to remove some of the potential sites for housing and employment development, most of which would have involved taking more land out of the green belt, including all the sites earmarked for development in Alderley Edge.

The (revised) document, which will go before the council's strategic planning board on 23rd September, no longer includes the following:

Site ALD 1 - Land adjacent to Jenny Heyes The land adjacent to Jenny Heyes is allocated for residential development for around 10 new homes. This greenfield site is 0.47 ha in size and is located to the north east of Alderley Edge, on Heyes Lane.

Site ALD 2 - Ryleys Farm, north of Chelford Road The land at Ryleys Farm, north of Chelford Road is allocated for residential development for around 45 new homes. This greenfield site is 1.6 ha in size and is located to the west of Alderley Edge, north of Chelford Road.

Site ALD 4 - Land north of Beech Road The land north of Beech Road is allocated for residential development for around 35 new homes.This greenfield site is 2.9 ha in size and is located to the north of Alderley Edge, north of Beech Road.

Additionally safeguarded land is identified in Green Belt areas and may be required to meet longer-term development needs.

Councillor Craig Browne said "I welcome the publication today of the Council's revised SADPD, which removes from the Plan green belt sites previously been earmarked for development. Locally, this means that: ALD1 (land at Jenny Heyes), ALD2 (land at Ryleys Farm) and ALD4 (land north of Beech Road) will remain within the green belt.

"The Independent Group at Cheshire East Council believes that sufficient land for development has already been allocated in and around the borough's principal towns. Given that further "windfall" developments have and will continue to come forwards over the next few years, we argued that there was no need to allocate further green belt sites in villages like Alderley Edge.

"In the submission version of the SADPD, ALD3 (an area of approximately 2.23ha adjacent to Ryleys Farm) will be safeguarded for possible development during a future Local Plan period (after 2030). This is reduced from 2.29ha in the previous version of the SADPD."

The proposed revisions also include:

● Revised policies for retail development and town centres, reflecting reduced demand for new retail floorspace and a need for diversified uses in town centres to support their vitality; and

● Higher environmental standards for new homes to help tackle climate change.

If approved by by cabinet on 6th October, the updated SADPD will be re-published to allow further representations to be made.

The SADPD will require approval by full council, scheduled for spring 2021. The representations will then be submitted to the government, alongside the supporting evidence, and will be considered by a planning inspector during an examination.

Councillor Toni Fox, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for planning said: "We promised during the public consultation last year that we would carefully consider all the comments that were made. These revisions demonstrate that we have fully considered and reviewed the 2,700 responses submitted alongside the latest evidence and information.

"Planning always involves balancing a range of issues – facilitating new homes, jobs and other investments that are needed, whilst protecting our local environment and the health and wellbeing of our residents. The revisions we have made reflect all of these considerations.

"We are conscious that central government is consulting on proposals to radically reform the planning system, including the way in which councils prepare their local plans.

"This inevitably raises some uncertainty for councils currently preparing plans, and residents.
"However, until we have more detail it is impossible to gauge how these may affect the emerging SADPD. At this time therefore it is important to progress this document to its next stage."

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Comments

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

David Smith
Thursday 17th September 2020 at 4:30 am
Hah! A photograph never described so beautifully what MUPPETS we have in charge of PLANNING in Cheshire East.
All these brick boxes - sorry homes [allegedly] - have a roof of an ideal slope for maximising the efficiency of solar panels. If they all face in the right direction [south] then that is just about as good as it gets. But NONE of them in the photo appear to 'supporting' them. Why not?
With the announcement [September 2020] that 2 nuclear power stations will not now be built in the UK we need every milliamp of power from every available source of green energy. EVERY home or commercial building that is given planning approval should START with the condition that the roof is covered in solar panels. When you drive around the UK what do you notice? I said NOTICE and not SEE. The two words have very different meanings. What you should NOTICE is large roof areas that do not have solar panels on them and ask ‘why not?’ The largest panel-free spaces are on top of factories and commercial buildings - like the Amazon and DHL warehouses near Manchester Airport by junction 6 of the M56. If made a priority and condition of planning approval from the start the roof could be designed for maximum efficiency of energy collection with easy access for maintenance. Have you ever NOTICED solar “farms’ with fields of solar panels that have been plonked on agricultural land instead of producing something we can eat? Stick them on top of houses and commercial buildings instead and then we can ‘have our cake and eat it’ - as long as we grow the flour too to make the cake!

Take a look at the website of these guys - full of smiley, happy people out to earn a few quid by doing the GREEN thing:

https://www.lightsourcebp.com/uk/landowners/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIvbqm-7Tv6wIVgentCh0sxQfgEAAYASAAEgIaQfD_BwE

… and all out to cover good agricultural land with solar panels which could be on top of commercial buildings and nearer to the places that need the energy being produced instead of being stuck miles away with the inherent loss of power that always comes with getting it to where is will be used. So a solar “farm” is a pretty bad idea for the future when we should be using good agricultural land for, well - AGRICULTURE.
The website states:
BENEFITS:
‘Renting out your land for a solar farm comes with plenty of advantages, including reliable rental income, continued agricultural use of your land and increasing levels of biodiversity.’
How can any farmer continue to use the land in an ‘agricultural’ way, when it is underneath a load of solar panels? Small tractors perhaps and miniature cows? Assuming of course that anything will grow in the darkened shadows underneath.

Before anyone starts on about we don’t get solar energy at night - the accompanying technology for storing green energy that is surplus to needs is coming along very well too and so will not be the stumbling block that it has been. What we do need is first of all to produce vastly more green energy than we are consuming to bring the demand more equal to that in storage and actually being produced. It therefore helps that we ALL reduce our needs and consumption by going as far as turning off a light when not required.

Our PLANNERS need to get PLANNING and pretty damn quickly too - like not later than 5 years ago!
Mark Russell
Thursday 17th September 2020 at 3:10 pm
What about large warehouses that have roofs that let natural light in, that mean lights are not on 24 hours a day. I would imagine that’s a big reason why as they would probably burn more electric to light the warehouse meaning net zero impact.
David Smith
Friday 18th September 2020 at 10:09 am
Reply to Mark Russell:
What I have suggested is the designing of new commercial buildings for roof solar. Your comment seems to infer that because many EXISTING commercial roofs have windows then all new-build premises must somehow follow the same design and so make my proposal somewhat irrelevant. A more appropriate response from you could have been - “Whereas many existing commercial buildings rely on partial interior lighting from roof windows, which would still in many cases allow a retrofitting of solar on a large proportion of the roof, it would seem very sensible for all future buildings to be purposely designed with solar installations.”

If you go to Google maps and search round the local area you will notice that, as you say, many do have roof 'windows' but the area that they take up would still allow substantial solar panel installation. Taking a look at Handforth Dene shopping centre at the link:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@53.3497468,-2.2049837,257m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en

Tesco's & M&S don't have any windows and many of the surrounding commercial buildings also have none with the rest having some - but not enough to prevent a sizeable solar installation. They would therefore probably allow a retrofitting of solar but could have been so designed in the beginning. It would be possible to design a commercial building with windows all along the top of the side walls allowing good light ingress all around and then leaving the roof totally free for solar. If the designers set out from the start with planning rules to achieve a purpose - it can easily be done but if there is no requirement to achieve solar collection then it doesn’t happen.

Have a look at this link:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@53.3675087,-2.2472815,556m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en

Manchester Airport Car Parks:
It was a field that could be used for agriculture. Instead it is covered in tarmac and filled with cars. It could be covered with a structure to support a roof with solar panels with the cars underneath. Extra cost I admit but it would be an additional use for a patch of land that at present has only one purpose - a car park.

Trafford Park:
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@53.4680912,-2.3186708,177m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en

Some older commercial premises have added on their roofs exactly what I have proposed. This ideal roof is a perfect example and I am sure the rest of their factory roofs will eventually follow suit. Again much of Trafford Park is a mix of some roof windows and none at all.
Here's the Trafford Centre, which as anyone will recall has a central atrium with full glass but the rest of the roof is glass free:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@53.4654243,-2.3476582,543m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en

It’s as I say - start with PLANNING regulations at the design stage and full solar panel installation is dead easy. It just takes foresight, intention and best practice - all with a VISION that is ahead of time.

All the above is a suggestion for commercial buildings versus a seemingly new trend for converting agricultural land [greenbelt?] into solar ‘farms’ which to my mind and for the reasons I suggest above is CRAZY and UNNECESSARY. It could all be different if our PLANNERS decide otherwise.
Christine McClory
Thursday 24th September 2020 at 4:36 pm
Thank you, David for one of the most sensible articles that I have read for a long time.
I’m totally with you on this.
David Smith
Friday 25th September 2020 at 8:04 am
Thanks Christine for your 'lone' appreciation of my observation and how our 'planners' must start to PLAN for our future. You have more than cancelled out the words from Mark Russell who regularly shares with us his apparent lack of understanding of the contributions to Wilmslow.co.uk by those who are attempting to steer a sensible and meaningful discussion. Interesting to note that so far nobody else would appear to think that what I have observed has any relevance towards the issue of climate change in which we should all be involved.
Toni Fox
Saturday 26th September 2020 at 10:33 am
David, you have hit the nail on the head - this would require a change in planning regulations. Planning regulations however are set by Government, not by Local Authorities or 'planners'.

I'm afraid you are laying the blame at the wrong door - 'planners' are required to adhere to planning regulations - when they have been implemented by Government.

The SADPD has been amended to reflect the latest and most up to date planning regulations, and the Councils recently approved Environment Strategy in Policy ENV7 Climate Change.

The Government is also anticipated to introduce a higher environmental performance standard for new homes some time this year through the Building Regulations, as part of the progression towards a Future Homes Standard in 2025.

Councillor Toni Fox

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