Spatial Planning Update

This page provides regular updates on planning policy matters affecting Cheshire East, including:

  • Progress on the Council's Local Plan
  • Other research, guidance and projects carried out by the Council's Spatial Planning Team, and
  • Neighbourhood Planning activity taking place across the Borough.

May 2017 Bulletin

Welcome to the fifth edition of Spatial Planning Update, keeping you informed about planning policy matters in the Borough.

During 2017 the Council continues to carry out public consultations on various planning policy-related documents. These Updates let you know what is happening and when, and also the purpose of each consultation, to avoid any confusion.  If you need any further information or explanation, our contact details are at the bottom of the page.

In this edition:

Local Plan Strategy

The Council is awaiting the Inspector’s Report detailing his conclusions about the soundness of the Local Plan Strategy and his recommended ‘Main Modifications’.   When received, the Council will then be able to make its final decision to adopt the Plan.

Design Guide Supplementary Planning Document

On the 02 May 2017, the Portfolio Holder for Planning and Housing approved the adoption of the Design Guide as a  SPD . The guide is intended to ensure that all new residential developments achieve a high quality of design, reflecting local distinctiveness and characteristics, including the type of materials, natural features, surroundings and other connections with the locality. The Council would like to thank those who submitted any comments on the draft document for their contribution to this valuable SPD .

Playing Pitch Strategy and Indoor Built Facilities Statement

The Council has just completed consultation on two important strategies, relating to Playing Pitches and Indoor Built Facilities across Cheshire East. These provide an assessment of existing sports facilities and the future demand for them, linked to the levels of growth proposed in the Local Plan Strategy.  They also include action plans to ensure that the right number and type of sports facilities are provided to meet the needs of existing and future residents in the Borough  – and in doing so providing more opportunities for people to enjoy an active and healthy lifestyle.

The strategies will now be finalised taking into account the comments received and a report of the findings following the consultation will be made available via our consultation results pages in the next few weeks.  The Strategies will support Local Plan Strategy policies that look to protect existing facilities and provide for further investment in existing or new facilities. They will also inform the preparation of more detailed planning policies in the SADPD

Site Allocations and Development Policies Document

The consultation on the SADPD  Issues Paper ran from 27 Feb to 10 April 2017. The consultation was the first opportunity for residents, Town and Parish Councils and other organisations to let the Council know what they think the SADPD , the second part of the Council’s Local Plan, should cover and make suggestions regarding the direction of its policies. The Council is now going through the responses so they can be properly considered as the Plan is developed. Work is also underway on a range of evidence that
will inform the drafting of policies and proposals.

Although the ‘call for sites’ exercise ended on 10 April, there is still the opportunity to send a late site submission by completing the ‘call for sites’ online web form and we will endeavour to consider late submissions where possible. The call for sites online web form will close at the end of June 2017 and any sites submitted after that time will not be considered for inclusion in the SADPD .

The Council hopes to prepare a first draft of the Plan by the end of the year for consultation.

Minerals and Waste Development Plan Document

The MWDPD is the third part of the Council’s Local Plan. The MWDPD will contain any site allocations necessary to ensure that the requirements for meeting appropriate minerals and waste needs in the Borough are met for the plan period to 2030. It is being prepared within the context of the strategic priorities and policies set out by the LPS.

Following a decision by the Portfolio Holder for Housing and Planning on Tuesday, 04 April, 2017, consultation on a MWDPD Issues Paper began on Monday 24 April and concluded on Monday 05 June 2017. Approximately 80 different individuals, groups and organisations responded.   While the consultation was underway, the Council also contacted other planning authorities across the country regarding ‘cross boundary’ issues relating to the use and movement of minerals and waste.

The next stage is to respond to comments and release a ‘summary report of issues’; and to consider the responses to the ‘call for Minerals and Waste sites’.  An up to date Local Aggregate Assessments will then be published in the coming months which, alongside a refreshed waste needs assessment, will inform the Council’s approach to key mineral and waste policy development. It is the intention of the Council to be in a position to consult on a 1st Draft of a Minerals and Waste Plan by the end of year.

Further information is available on our Minerals and Waste page.

 Community Infrastructure Levy

The CIL is a charge that the Council can make on certain new developments to raise funds to invest in infrastructure in the Borough. The Council continues to reflect on the comments made and, where necessary, engaging further with parties regarding detailed points raised in their responses.

The next stage is to produce a Draft Charging Schedule and a final draft Regulation 123 list.  Focused engagement continues with the developer community via consortia such as the House Building Federation and with other stakeholders as required.

It is hoped the Draft Charging Schedule will be ready to publish for a further 6 week public consultation in the coming months having reflected on any changes needed in the light of earlier consultation feedback and engagement. The charging schedule will then be finalised and submitted for examination by an independent Inspector. It is envisaged that the CIL could be adopted and operational early in 2018.

Neighbourhood Planning

As we reported last month, the Neighbourhood Planning Act gained Royal Assent. Neighbourhood planning is becoming very important now and carrying weight in planning decisions. There is a new document available to help Town and Parish Councillors understand neighbourhood planning: 'The Good Councillors Guide to Neighbourhood Planning' (PDF, 9.8MB).

Meanwhile, the Local Plan team are working through the results of our recent call for sites exercise.  If neighbourhood planners around the Borough would like to access this information to inform their own site allocations processes then please get in touch with the neighbourhood planning team directly via neighbourhoods@cheshireeast.gov.uk. This information should be available in the next few weeks.

Further Information

For further information on any of the items in this bulletin, please contact the Spatial Planning Team by email at localplan@cheshireeast.gov.uk or by telephone on 01270 685893.