Policy EG 2: Rural Economy

Outside the Principal Towns, Key Service Centres and Local Service Centres, developments that:

  1. Provide opportunities for local rural employment development that supports the vitality of rural settlements;
  2. Create or extend rural based tourist attractions, visitor facilities and recreational uses;
  3. Encourage the retention and expansion of existing businesses, particularly through the conversion of existing buildings and farm diversification;
  4. Encourage the creation and expansion of sustainable farming and food production businesses and allow for the adaption of modern agricultural practises;
  5. Are considered essential to the wider strategic interest of the economic development of Cheshire East, as determined by the council; or
  6. Support the retention and delivery of community services such as shops and public houses, and village halls

Will be supported where the development:

  1. Meets sustainable development objectives as set out in policies MP 1, SD 1 and SD 2 of the Local Plan Strategy;
  2. Supports the rural economy, and could not reasonably be expected to locate within a designated centre by reason of their products sold footnote 42;
  3. Would not undermine the delivery of strategic employment allocations;
  4. Is supported by adequate infrastructure;
  5. Is consistent in scale with its location and does not adversely affect nearby buildings and the surrounding area or detract from residential amenity;
  6. Is well sited and designed in order to conserve and where possible enhance the character and quality of the landscape and built form; and
  7. Does not conflict with Policies PG 3, PG 4, PG 6, PG 7, SE 3, SE 4, SE 5, SE 6 and SE 7 of the Local Plan Strategy.


11.19 The National Planning Policy Framework states that 'planning policies should support economic growth in rural areas in order to create jobs and prosperity by taking a positive approach to sustainable new development'.

11.20 The rural economy provides a wide range of important goods and services, including clean water, biodiversity, recreational space and opportunities, food energy and carbon management. Rural land is a vital resource for mitigating and adapting to the various challenges of climate change, such as drought and flooding. The countryside is also home to settlements and communities, where economic activities include agriculture and other farm based industries, as well as businesses associated with countryside pursuits, including rural tourism and leisure. Beyond farming, the rural economy in Cheshire East supports many businesses, including wholesale and retail trade, repairs, manufacturing, health and social work, horse-related enterprises (breeding, training and livery) and real estate, renting and business activities.

11.21 Planning has a key role to play in ensuring that the rural economy is viable, meets the needs of existing residents of rural areas and that growth and development is appropriate to the scale of each area and that it has a positive impact upon biodiversity, geodiversity, the landscape and the historic environment.

Key Evidence

  1. Employment Land Review

(Footnote 42) The majority of goods sold should be produced on site.

Policy information


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