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.

February 2017 Bulletin

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

During 2017 the Council is carrying out public consultation on various planning policy-related documents. We will endeavour to let you know what is happening and when, and also the purpose of each consultation, to best avoid any confusion. We want you to have a full opportunity to respond to the consultations and let us know your views. Remember, if you need any further information or explanation you are always welcome to contact the team. Contact details are at the bottom of the page.

In this edition:

Local Plan Strategy

We have worked closely with the Local Plan Inspector and prepared a list of draft Main Modifications necessary to make the LPS ‘sound’ and ‘legally compliant’. Six weeks of public consultation on Proposed Main Modifications is currently ongoing and will end at 5pm on 20 March. Please ensure that any representations that you wish to make are with us before that deadline. And just to highlight again - comments can only be made about the draft Main Modifications at this stage.

At the end of the six weeks, the Inspector will consider any representations and then, it is hoped, complete his Report to the Council with a final list of Main Modifications. It will then remain for the Council to adopt the Plan with these changes.

Site Allocations and Development Policies Document

Six weeks of public consultation will begin on 27 February on the SADPD  Issues Paper, and run until 5pm on 10 April. The Issues Paper will be the first opportunity for interested parties 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. During the consultation period we will also be inviting views on a draft Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report which will provide the framework for the ongoing and iterative Sustainability Appraisal of the SADPD .

There will be a ‘call for sites’ during the six weeks too - an opportunity for landowners, developers and others to let us have details of sites that they believe are suitable and available to meet the remaining identified development requirements that the SADPD will need to address. This will identify a pool of sites that can be assessed by the Council. As it was highlighted in the January Update, the submission of a site to the Council does not automatically mean that it will be allocated or supported for development. We expect that many more sites will be submitted to us than required.

Minerals and Waste Development Plan Document

The legacy Minerals and Waste local plans are now very dated and this new Plan will bring the Council’s Minerals and Waste policies up to date and fully compliant with current Government guidance. It will form the third part of the Council’s Local Plan.

Work has continued on preparing the Minerals and Waste Issues Paper which will be published for consultation in Spring, together with a call for mineral and waste sites to help meet identified needs. The Council has undertaken a procurement exercise to appoint consultants to update its Waste Management Needs Assessment evidence base and will shortly review the submitted tenders. This evidence base work is required to understand the implications for waste arisings and management capacity resulting from the increased levels of housing and employment identified in the Local Plan Strategy.

 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. Six weeks of public consultation will also begin on 27th February inviting views on the council’s Preliminary Draft Charging Schedule. This will set out draft charging rates on new development across the Borough. The Council’s viability evidence justifying the draft charging rates will be published alongside the PDCS , as will a draft ‘Regulation 123 list’ which will indicate the infrastructure projects and infrastructure types that the Council currently considers should be paid for from CIL receipts rather than through Section 106 contributions.

A Draft Charging Schedule, similarly accompanied by viability evidence and also a final draft Regulation 123 list will be published for a further round of public consultation for six weeks later this year. These versions of the documents will reflect any changes needed in the light of earlier consultation feedback. After this second round of consultation, 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

The new year has seen renewed interest in the neighbourhood planning agenda in Cheshire East with a number of our rural communities taking up the opportunity to prepare plans – Lower Withington, Church Lawton, Newhall, Odd Rode, Great Warford and Nether Alderley are amongst the latest to start the process whilst the investment the Council has made in supporting communities around the Borough is beginning to pay dividends as we see more and more plans come to completion. Most recently Astbury and Moreton have submitted their plan to the Council with draft plans from Weston and Basford, Stapeley, Willaston, Wistaston, and Goostrey all being finalised.

The Housing White Paper also makes a renewed commitment to neighbourhood planning through a number of measures including confirmation of financial support to community groups, stronger focus on small scale site allocations and an emphasis on establishing local design codes and policies on delivering local high quality design. Whilst much of the detail remains to be finalised through a review to the NPPF and other regulations, the White Paper sets out an important role for neighbourhood plans in the future.

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.