When Elephants Fight

Sam Corcoran writes

Seeing the pictures in the local papers last week of Eric Pickles and
Michael Jones squaring up over planning matters and housing applications
reminded me of the Kenyan saying "When elephants fight the grass gets
trampled". In this case it is the green fields of Cheshire that are being
lost while the two Conservative heavyweights battle it out over arcane
points of planning law. The adversarial approach taken by government and
council has benefitted only the property developers and lawyers. Too many
houses have been granted planning permission without the necessary
improvements to local infrastructure. I say that Cheshire East Council
should concentrate on getting a 5 year housing supply and a decent local
plan in place as soon as possible and making sure that the developments pay
for improved infrastructure. Eric Pickles and the Planning Inspector who
ruled on the Congleton Road appeal are demanding sites for an extra 1,500 -
2,000 new homes across Cheshire East over the next 5 years. If we meet that
target then we can start to dictate to developers what infrastructure must
be delivered. As a start I suggest adopting the Yeowood Farm development for
800 houses in Ettiley Heath on the condition that it includes a new primary
school, satellite doctors surgery, allotments, community orchard and that
the developers pay for road improvements.

The 1,800 houses already approved in Sandbach leave us in desperate need of
a new primary school. If we do not take action now then the young children
of Sandbach will have nowhere to go to school in a few years time.

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