Cheshire East Council is in the process of preparing a new Local Plan, which will set out the development needs to 2030 and allocate sufficient sites to accommodate the identified needs. The plan is in two parts:
1. the Local Plan Strategy, which sets out the overall vision and planning strategy for development in the Borough to 2030 and allocates strategic sites (i.e. those of 150 dwellings or 5 ha or more); and
2. the Site Allocations and Development Plan Policies document, which will allocate additional sites for development to make sure that the overall development requirements set out in the Local Plan Strategy are met and set more detailed policies to guide decisions on planning applications in the Borough.
The draft Local Plan Strategy was submitted for examination in May 2014. The examination process has taken almost three years. The Local Plan Strategy identifies a housing need of 36,000 new dwellings in the Borough between 2010 and 2030.
The Council is now consulting on the “Site Allocations and Development Policies Document: Issues Paper”. This is the first opportunity to make comments about what the plan should contain and direction the policies should take. The consultation document is seeking views on important issues, such as how much housing should be allocated in the key service centres and the rural areas, and whether there should be any further Green Belt release in the key settlements such as Macclesfield, Knutsford and Wilmslow.
There will be further opportunities to make representations after the latest consultation. However, our advice is that clients promoting sites should make representations now to address the relevant issues to your site at the earliest possible opportunity.
At the same time, the Council is also inviting local residents, landowners, developers and other parties to put forward sites that they consider are suitable and available for future residential development i.e. a “Call for Sites”. This information will be used by the council to update its Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) and will inform any further land allocations in the Site Allocations and Development Plan Policies document.
Finally, Cheshire East Council is also consulting upon its Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL): Draft Charging Schedule. CIL allows local authorities to raise funds from developers undertaking new building projects in their area to fund infrastructure projects. CIL is charged as a fixed rate per square metre of new floor space, and this consultation seeks comments upon the Council’s proposed charging rates. The Draft Charging Schedule proposes to introduce a variable CIL rate depending upon which part of the borough a site is located. The highest rate is £168 per m2, for greenfield sites in the north of the borough. For comparison with other nearby authorities, the highest residential CIL rates in Shropshire and Trafford are in the region of £80 per m2, and Cheshire West is pursuing £110 (CIL examination ongoing). This consultation provides an opportunity to comment on the proposed charging rates.
All of the above consultations close on Monday 10th April 2017.
If you wish to speak to a consultant to discuss your options or to instruct us to make representations, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01625 433 881. Alternatively you can e-mail John Coxon: firstname.lastname@example.org.