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Housing Plan Agreed

Labour Welcomes 5 Year Housing Supply

 

At the Cheshire East Council meeting on 28 February, the Labour group welcomed the recent decision to approve the 2013 Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA). This document will help defend against speculative housing applications that some communities have had to endure for the past 2 years.

The Labour group also urged Cheshire East Council to push ahead with the Local Plan that will provide the certainty that we seek on local developments.

 

A SHLAA lists sites that are considered suitable for housing developments. The SHLAA published by Cheshire East Council lists sites for 9,771 houses to be built over the next 5 years. This is 50% more than the number of houses Cheshire East needs in the next 5 years.

The robustness of the SHLAA will be tested at several planning appeals and developers hoping to build houses on sites not included in the SHLAA are already looking at ways to challenge the information put forward by Cheshire East Council.

 

The Labour group also welcomes the commitment to update the SHLAA annually, with the next review starting in April.

 

 

Cllr Steve Hogben, Labour Councillor for Crewe South, said,

“This SHLAA could and should have been produced 2 years ago. Nevertheless it is a big step forward and very welcome. The next step is to produce a Local Plan that will act as a definitive document in allowing or opposing new planning applications in Cheshire East.”

 

 

Cllr Ken Edwards, Labour Councillor for Macclesfield Central, said

“Cheshire East like most of England desperately needs decent housing for its residents. All the research shows there is a need for more housing over the next 20 years and the SHLAA is a vital guide document framing that development and ensuring that housing development is concentrated in areas of proven need rather than scattered in an unplanned way across the landscape. There will always be disputes over the best way forward and many people resist any change in their environment, but the need for good quality, energy efficient housing at affordable prices is clear and a responsible public authority like Cheshire East has to move forward to provide the framework for both public and developers if that need is to be met. The Tory administration has at last provided the SHLAA framework. We now need to move forward concentrating our efforts in getting development where there is the right infrastructure of schools, health services, shops and, above all, jobs to sustain a positive life for residents. As a public body we must concentrate on ensuring affordable housing is available so that our communities can work effectively together. We need to work in a strong partnership with Housing Associations to ensure that happens. To do this we will have to stand out from time to time against blatant self interest and the desire for excessive profiteering in the face of housing need.”

 

 

Cllr Sam Corcoran, Labour Councillor for Sandbach Heath & East, said

“I have made representations that the Capricorn Business Park site (the area between the M6, Old Mill Road and the wildlife corridor) should be excluded from the allocation for housing. My suggested amendment to the borders of Site SAN1 would not have affected the numbers in any way. Furthermore the proposed change would protect the wildlife corridor which could then serve as a boundary between the employment site by junction 17 and the houses on Sandbach Heath. The gratuitous extension of the SHLAA site to allow housing on the premium employment site in Sandbach is unnecessary and gives the lie to the claim that the Conservative plans are jobs led.

The inclusion of the business park site in the SHLAA will act as an invitation to developers to apply to build houses on the best site in Sandbach for employment. Sadly, I can now confidently predict that within weeks we will see another unwanted planning application to build hundreds of houses in Sandbach.”

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