£1.1M Spent on Planning Appeals
A Freedom of Information Act request shows that Cheshire East Council has spent over one million pounds on planning appeals in the last 3 years, with £681,789 incurred last year. The figures show that 75% of the costs were incurred on appeals in areas held by Conservative councillors and only 2% in areas held by Labour councillors.
If you look only at cases where the Council lost the appeal then 90% of the costs were incurred on appeals in areas held by Conservative councillors, despite Conservative councillors making up only 60% of the total number of councillors.
Sam Corcoran, Labour Councillor for Sandbach Heath & East, said, “The only appeal in a Labour area listed is the appeal on the Old Mill Quarter site in my ward, where the Cheshire East witness publicly admitted that the Council did NOT have a 5 year housing land supply. There were no appeals over housing off Hassall Road, Hawthorne Drive or on the CapricornBusiness Park site because those applications were all approved by Cheshire East Council themselves, despite massive local opposition and sound grounds for refusal.”
Dr Darren Price, planning expert and Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Congleton, said, “The really worrying part of the information provided is the way the costs are rising sharply. £681,789 was pent last year and £185,000 has already been spent since 1 April 2015. Cheshire East Council are now paying the price for ‘letting go’ experienced planning staff after the Council was formed in 2009. Cutting staff held down costs in the short term, but it is now costing the Council dearly and developers are able to pick and choose the sites they want to develop.”