Policy HOU 16: Small and medium-sized sites

The particular benefits of providing well-designed new homes on small and medium-sized sites, up to 30 homes, will be given positive weight in determining planning applications.

Supporting information

8.72 LPS Policy SC 4 'Residential mix' seeks to achieve a mix of housing types, tenures and sizes to address the wide range of needs of existing and future residents in the borough. The government wishes to diversify the housing market, opening it up further to small and medium sized builders and to make it easier for people who want to build their own homes footnote 18. The delivery of smaller sites plays an important role in meeting housing needs. Smaller sites offer a number of benefits, including providing a greater diversity of sources, locations, type and mix of housing supply, supporting smaller housebuilders and supporting those wishing to bring forward custom, self-build and community-led housing. The policy makes clear the council’s ambition to see more homes built on appropriate smaller sites.

8.73 There is no universally accepted definition of what constitutes a small site. It may vary by reference to the characteristics of a particular area. In a joint report by the Local Government Information Unit and the Federation of Master Builders in December 2016, footnote 19 a small site was considered to be one that was unlikely to be developed by large volume house builders. In the absence of a better measure this was defined as a site with the capacity for 30 units or fewer, or 1.5 hectares or less in size. A figure of 20 homes has been highlighted by the Home Builders Federation footnote 20 on the basis that it provides a more appropriate broader potential site base for small and medium sized builders than the broadly applied definition of small sites involving around 10 dwellings. The council’s view is that a threshold of 30 homes is appropriate in Cheshire East, because it generally reflects a scale of development that would be brought forward by small and medium size builders.

(Footnote 18) For example see the Housing White Paper 'Fixing Our Broken Housing Market' (2017, DCLG)

(Footnote 19) Small is Beautiful: Delivering More Homes Through Small Sites (2016, Local Government Information Unit and Federation of Master Builders)

(Footnote 20) Reversing the Decline of Small Housebuilders: Reinvigorating Entrepreneurialism and Building More Homes (2017, Home Builders Federation)

Policy information


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