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.

March 2017 Bulletin

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

During 2017 the Council continues to carrying out public consultations on various planning policy-related documents. We endeavour to 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 consultation on the Schedule of Proposed Main Modifications to the Local Plan Strategy – Proposed Changes (March 2016 Version) ran from 6 February to 20 March 2017 and has now ended. In total, 311 representations were received from 108 representors. These are all available to view on the consultation portal and were provided to the Inspector on 23 March.

In line with the Inspector’s request in his Views on Further Modifications Needed to the Local Plan Strategy (PDF, 100KB) paragraph 7, the Council has considered all representations and is preparing responses where necessary. A full statement of consultation will be produced which will identify all the main issues raised in the representations and the Council’s responses.

Many of the issues raised repeat points made previously that have already been considered through the examination process, or do not relate to any of the proposed Main Modifications in the schedule. The Council is currently reflecting on the issues raised and will provide responses, where necessary, to the Inspector very shortly.

The next step will then be to await the Inspector’s final report detailing his final conclusions regarding the soundness of the Plan and his recommended modifications. The Council will then be in a position to adopt the Plan, incorporating Main Modifications.

Site Allocations and Development Policies Document

Six weeks of public consultation is underway. Consultation began on 27 February on the SADPD  Issues Paper, and runs until 5pm on 10 April 2017. The Issues Paper will be 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.

There is also 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.

Following the consultation, the Council will reflect on the comments made and start the detailed evidence gathering required to inform the issues raised, ultimately to support new policies and maps that will form a first draft of the SADPD . The Council hopes to have the first written draft evidenced and approved for consultation by the end of the year. If you haven’t yet commented on the consultation, please make comment before the strict closing date of 5pm on 10 April 2017. You can access all the spatial planning consultations at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/localplan.

Invitations were send to all Town and Parish Councils and we are delighted that 16 Town and Parish Councils took up the opportunity to meet with us to talk about the SADPD and what it may mean for their areas, including how it will relate to emerging neighbourhood plans. This is the start of ongoing engagement and there will be other opportunities to meet and discuss the SADPD as it is developed.

Minerals and Waste Development Plan Document

The MWDPD is the third part of the Council’s Local Plan. It will be prepared in the context of the strategic priorities and policies set out by the Local Plan Strategy, which is now at an advanced stage in its examination. 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.

Work has been completed on preparing the Minerals and Waste Issues Paper which was considered by Strategic Planning Board on 22 March 2017. It recommended that the six weeks consultation and `call for sites’ goes ahead. This has now been approved at a meeting of the Portfolio Holder for Housing and Planning on 04 April 2017 (agenda item 4). It will now be subject to a 6 week consultation commencing in April.

 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 commenced on 27th February inviting views on the council’s Preliminary Draft Charging Schedule and is due to run until 5:00pm on Monday 10 April 2017. It sets out draft charging rates on new development across the Borough. The Council’s viability evidence justifying the draft charging rates has been published alongside the PDCS , alongside a draft ‘Regulation 123 list’ which will indicates the infrastructure projects and infrastructure types that the Council currently considers should be contributed towards from CIL receipts rather than through Section 106 contributions. The papers can be found at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/localplan.

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

As we move through the year more neighbourhood plans are being finalised ready for submission to the Council with more activity around this expected over the summer. Consultation on the Goostrey Neighbourhood Plan is currently open and consultation on the Astbury and Moreton Neighbourhood Plan has just recently closed. Next steps for both of these plans are to appoint examiners and move them through the process to referendum. The Holmes Chapel Neighbourhood Plan is nearing the end of the process having secured a resounding ‘yes’ vote at referendum and will be formally made (adopted) in coming weeks. As ever, each Wednesday we open our doors to neighbourhood planners in Cheshire East so if any groups would like to discuss anything neighbourhood plan related then do come along.

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.