Policy HOU 14: Housing density
- Residential development proposals will generally be expected to achieve a net density of at least 30 dwellings per hectare. Lower densities of less than 30 dwellings per hectare will only be supported where evidence is submitted with the application, which demonstrates this would be justified, taking account of the factors set out in Criterion 3 below.
- Development proposals will be expected to achieve a higher density:
- in the settlement boundaries of principal towns, key service centres and local service centres where sites are well served by public transport; and/or
- close to existing or proposed transport routes/nodes.
- In determining an appropriate density, the following factors will also be taken into account:
- the mix and type of housing proposed;
- the character of the surrounding area (recognising that there are some areas of the borough with an established low density character that should be protected) and their wider landscape and/or townscape setting;
- the nature, setting and scale of the proposal including site constraints and local context;
- the character of the site including its topography and biodiversity value;
- local market conditions and viability;
- the need to preserve the amenity of existing or future residents;
- availability and capacity of local services, facilities and infrastructure; and
- the density analysis and advice contained in the Cheshire East Borough Design Guide supplementary planning document.
- Higher densities will be supported where innovative design solutions are proposed and consistent with the Cheshire East Borough Design Guide supplementary planning document.
8.65 Proposals for housing developments should use land efficiently in line with LPS Policy SE 2 'Efficient use of land'. Policy HOU 14 'Housing density' sets out the council’s expectations on the net density of sites in the borough. It does recognise that there will be sites where higher or lower densities will be more appropriate and sets out the factors that should be taken into account.
8.66 In the application of this policy, reference should also be made to Policy HOU 1 'Housing mix' as providing for a broad mix of dwelling types, particularly smaller dwellings, can achieve higher net densities and the more effective and efficient use of land.
8.67 The appreciation of landscape and townscape character, alongside well thought out and designed housing schemes, can assist in the efficient use of land when balanced with other design considerations. The efficient and effective use of land is important in contributing to regeneration, protecting greenfield sites, minimising Green Belt loss and supporting the achievement of sustainable development across the borough. There are, however, areas in the borough that have an established and important low density character that needs to be protected.
8.68 Net dwelling density is defined as including only those site areas that will be developed for housing and directly associated uses, including access roads in the site, private garden space, car parking areas, incidental open space and landscaping and children's play areas, where these are provided.
8.69 Where viability assessments are submitted, they will be evaluated independently with the cost being borne by the applicant.
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