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.

June 2017 bulletin

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

If you need any further information or explanation, please feel free to get in touch. Our contact details are at the bottom of the page.

In this edition:

Local Plan Strategy

Towards the end of June, the council received and published the inspector's report on
the examination of the Cheshire East Local Plan Strategy Development Plan Document. The report concludes that ‘the Cheshire East Local Plan Strategy provides an appropriate basis for the planning of the borough providing a number of main modifications are made to the plan’. This is very welcome news which now allows the council to proceed with the adoption of the plan.

The receipt of the inspector’s report marks the end of the plan’s examination stage. The adoption of the Local Plan Strategy will now be decided at a council meeting on 27 July. Ahead of that, its adoption will be considered by the council’s Strategic Planning Board on 24 July and Cabinet on 26 July. Details of the meeting times and venues can be viewed on the council's Calendar of Meetings.

Upon adoption the Local Plan Strategy will become part of the statutory development plan.

Site Allocations and Development Policies Document

The council is progressing work to prepare a first draft of the plan by the end of the year for consultation. The first phase of evidence gathering is well underway and will be used, in conjunction with responses to the Issues and Options Paper and other feedback, to write the first draft.

The council is gathering evidence in a number of areas to support the next stage. This includes (not an exhaustive list):

  • Green Belt Villages Study responding to paragraph 86 of the National Planning Policy Framework
  • Landscape Strategy including Local Landscape Designations
  • Local Wildlife Sites updates
  • Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment update
  • Housing Mix Study
  • Town Centre and Shopping Impact Thresholds Study
  • Apportionment of development requirements to individual Local Service Centres

Call for sites consultation closes

The council invited local residents, landowners, developers and other parties to put forward sites (excluding sites for minerals and waste uses) they consider to be suitable and available for future development in the borough. This has now been concluded.  The council will now consider this information as required for the purposes of meeting any further development requirements through the SADPD . We will be looking to make Call for Site information available to town and parish councils at the end of July so they can see what sites have been put forward in their areas. It is important to note that the submission of sites to the council does not alter their current planning status. This information is simply what others have submitted to the council - and no more than that. As noted in earlier updates, far more sites have been submitted to the council than will ever be needed to meet the remaining development requirements through the SADPD .

As well as giving the council a pool of sites which it can assess should it need to in order to meet remaining development requirements, town and parish councils may also find this  site information useful in taking forward their neighbourhood plans, for example where they are themselves considering making site allocations.

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 .

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 Assessment 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 first 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.

It is hoped that the Draft Charging Schedule will be ready to publish for a further 6 week public consultation in the coming months in light of the consultation feedback.

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. The council will need to carefully consider the implications of any proposed reforms to the CIL that may be announced by the government in its 2017 Autumn Statement later this year.

Neighbourhood planning

The adoption of the Local Plan Strategy will give the Council a solid platform on which to make planning decisions across the borough and help us to successfully use your neighbourhood plans to determine applications.  We’ve 47 active neighbourhood planning groups in Cheshire East, making us the fifth most active borough in the country and many of you are making excellent progress toward submitting your documents to examination.

Most recently, we’ve agreed a referendum date on the Goostrey and Astbury Neighbourhood Plans (17 August) and had Willaston, Wistaston and Buerton parishes all submit plans to us. Disley and Bollington have just launched their regulation 14 consultation on draft plans and Somerford and Hulme Walfield have recently completed this stage.

It’s great that so many of our communities are starting to see their plans coming to completion and move through the process - on top of the six completed neighbourhood plans in Cheshire East, in 2017 we’ve had seven neighbourhood plans submitted to us so far and we’re looking forward to helping many more of you complete (and start!) your work across the year ahead.

Royal London Development Framework consultation

A draft ‘Development Framework’ for the Royal London site in Wilmslow has been prepared to shape future proposals for the site. The acceptability of development on the site has been established through policies in the Local Plan Strategy, and this ‘Development Framework’ adds detail to those policies, aiming to ensure a high quality development scheme is achieved.

Consultation is currently underway running from Friday 23 June to Friday 4 August 2017. Further information is available on our Royal London Development Framework consultation page.

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.