Government Inspector Overrules Sandbach Neighbourhood Plan

A planning application to build 12 dwellings on a field on Church Lane close
to the M6 has been approved on appeal.

The government inspector said, "I appreciate that such a conclusion is
disheartening for the local community who put considerable time and effort
into the production of the Neighbourhood Plan, especially when the plan
received overwhelming support from local people. I also accept the matter of
the 5 year housing land supply in the borough is not one that they have any
control over, and that a significant number of permissions for new housing
in Sandbach have already been approved. Nevertheless, the government's aim
is to significantly boost the supply of housing, and at present the borough
is not delivering that aim."

One of the main grounds for objecting to the application had been the level
of noise from the motorway at the site, but Cheshire East Council withdrew
this grounds for refusal, without consulting with the local councillor, Sam
Corcoran.

To rub salt into the wounds caused by this absurd planning decision,
Cheshire East Council didn't ask for any contributions towards primary
school provision from the developers. So council tax payers will have to
foot the bill for any necessary primary school expansion in Sandbach.

There is widespread agreement that as a nation we need to build more houses.
Labour proposes building more council houses and would let local government
planning determine where the houses should be built (such as brownfield
sites close to employment areas). The Conservatives have let loose private
developers, allowing them to build on sites where they can make the greatest
profit (greenfield sites in Cheshire). The result of this laissez-faire
capitalism can be seen in Sandbach where permission has already been granted
to build over 3,000 new homes - an increase of 40% in the size of the town!

Sam Corcoran, Labour Councillor for Sandbach Heath & East, said, "I am
grateful to all those who attended the planning appeal hearing with me and
for the fantastic community-led effort that resulted in the Sandbach
Neighbourhood Plan. However, the simple truth is that while the
Conservatives continue to win elections, speculative developers will
continue to get their housing applications approved.
"This decision to allow more houses to be built on a green field on the
outskirts of Sandbach is a direct result of deliberate Conservative
government policy and incompetence at Conservative-led Cheshire East
Council."

Cllr Price Jones, Chair of the Sandbach Town Council Planning Committee
comments "It is undoubtedly the withdrawal of the noise grounds for refusal
by Cheshire East Council, combined with government policy, which has left
the inspector with little option but to allow this application to be built.
This application will provide housing that is not fit for habitation and it
is the people who buy these houses who will lose the most."

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