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.

July 2017 bulletin

Welcome to the seventh 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

The Cheshire East Local Plan Strategy was adopted at a council meeting on 27 July 2017 and it now forms part of the statutory development plan.  The final, adopted Local Plan Strategy is now available to download.   In addition to the Local Plan Strategy, the following documents have been published: Adoption Statement, Sustainability Appraisal Adoption Statement, and the Inspector’s Report, which are available to view online and can be inspected at customer centres (Westfields, Macclesfield Town Hall, and Delamere House) and at all Cheshire East  libraries.  Final copies of the adopted Plan will be printed following the end of the 6 week legal challenge period in September 2017. 

Site Allocations and Development Policies Document 

The council is continuing work on the preparation of a first draft of the Site Allocations and Development Policies Document ( SADPD ) for consultation.  A number of studies/reports are underway.  These include (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
  • Site Assessments

SADPD Call for sites 

In association with the SADPD Issues Paper consultation earlier this year, 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 in early September 2017 so they can see what sites have been put forward in their areas.

It is important to emphasise again that the submission of sites to the council does not alter their current planning status.  This information simply reflects what others have submitted to the council - and no more than that.  Far more sites have been submitted than will ever be needed to meet the remaining development requirements through the SADPD .  As well as giving the council a pool of sites that 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 considering making site allocations themselves.

Minerals and Waste Development Plan Document

The Minerals and Waste Development Plan Document ( MWDPD ) is the third part of the council’s Local Plan.  The MWDPD will contain any site allocations necessary to make sure 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 Local Plan Strategy.

The council is preparing a report of consultation that will summarise the main responses received on the Issues Paper, which was published earlier in the year.  Work will also begin on assessing the sites submitted as part of the ‘call for Minerals and Waste sites’ exercise, which was undertaken at that time.  In addition, an up-to-date Local Aggregate Assessment is expected to 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 the year or early next year.

Further information is available on our Minerals and Waste page.

Community Infrastructure Levy

The Community Infrastructure Levy ( CIL ) is a charge that the council can make on certain new developments to raise funds to invest in infrastructure in the borough. 

Subject to member approval, the next stage will be a further 6 weeks public consultation in the late autumn on a Draft Charging Schedule.  This updated Draft takes account of the consultation feedback received earlier this year in response to public consultation on the initial Draft (called the ‘Preliminary Draft Charging Schedule’) and also additional evidence prepared by the council.

Following the consultation in the autumn, 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.  However, ahead of submission for examination, the council will need to carefully consider the implications of any proposed reforms to 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.  This does not alter the status of Neighbourhood Plans made prior to Local Plan adoption – Neighbourhood Plans still form part of the statutory development plan for the purposes of deciding planning applications.  We worked closely with groups and carefully considered the relationship between emerging Neighbourhood Plans and the emerging Local Plan, following the good practice that national planning guidance recommends in such situations.  We have 47 active neighbourhood planning groups in Cheshire East, making us the fifth most active borough in the country and many are making excellent progress toward submitting documents to examination.  Most recently we have 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 now have ‘made’ plans or are reaching an advanced stage in their development.   On top of the 6 completed Neighbourhood Plans in Cheshire East, in 2017 we have had 7 Neighbourhood Plans submitted to us so far, and we are looking forward to helping many more communities complete (and start) 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 make sure a high quality development scheme is achieved.

Public consultation on the draft Framework has now been completed (Friday 23 June to Friday 4 August 2017) including a drop-in event on Tuesday 4 July at Wilmslow Leisure Centre.  Thank you to everyone who took the time to give us their feedback.  The responses received are now being considered and the document amended accordingly.  The cabinet will consider the final version of the Framework in the light of consultation feedback on 10 October 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.