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 2018 bulletin

Welcome to the twelfth edition of Spatial Planning Update, keeping you informed about planning policy matters in the Borough.  If you need any further information or explanation, our contact details are at the bottom of the page.  Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions or matters that you would like to discuss.

During 2018 the council will be continuing to progress work on various planning policy-related documents. This includes the Site Allocations and Development Policies Document, the second part of the Local Plan. The introduction of a Community Infrastructure Levy will also move an important step forward in September when the council’s proposals will be scrutinised by an independent examiner in light of the feedback received from other interested parties during earlier consultation.

In this edition:

Local Plan Strategy

Just a reminder that in the interests of reducing the need for printed copies of the  LPS , electronic copies can be downloaded for free.  Please see the Local Plan Strategy page for further information.

You’ll also find a link there to an interactive adopted policies map.  This map includes policies from the LPS and saved policies from the three plans prepared by the former borough councils.

Printed copies of the LPS  can be purchased on request for £40.00 each (plus postage of £2.50). Alternatively, copies can be purchased and collected from Westfields.  Discounted copies are available for town and parish councils. Please e-mail localplan@cheshireeast.gov.uk.

Draft revised National Planning Policy Framework

Earlier this year the government consulted on proposed changes to the NPPF and also a few other related things including changes to developer contributions. The government’s stated ambition is to publish the revised NPPF in the summer after consideration of the feedback it received during the consultation.

Site Allocations and Development Policies Document 

The SADPD is the second part of the council’s Local Plan and will include more detailed development management policies as well as identifying additional sites to ensure that the overall development needs of the Borough, as set out in the LPS , are met.

The Spatial Planning team is now well advanced in drafting policies and proposals that will go into a first draft of the SADPD , subject to formal approval. These have been prepared taking into account the feedback we have received to date, including responses to the SADPD Issues Paper published last year. They will also reflect the output from a very substantial amount of ‘evidence base’ work – studies and reports that provide the background and justification for particular policies and proposals.

We anticipate publishing the first draft SADPD at the beginning of September for six weeks of public consultation. This will provide an opportunity for you to feed back your views to us on what we hope will be a full draft of the plan. Once we’ve had the opportunity to consider this feedback and carry out any final additional ‘evidence base’ work as necessary we will then publish the final draft plan (called the ‘publication’ version) for a further six weeks of public consultation. The step after that is submission of the plan for examination before an independent inspector. Again, we’d like that to take place next year too.

We would like to express our sincere thanks to all of the 45 town and parish councils who have met with us over the last couple of months to informally discuss our SADPD evidence work. It is always helpful for us to hear about your key local issues. These included the relationship between emerging / made neighbourhood plans and the SADPD . We are listening!

Community Infrastructure Levy

The council currently anticipates submitting its CIL draft charging schedule for independent examination by the end of June 2018. The examination is likely to take place in September and, if the  CIL charge is approved, will become operational before the end of 2018.

Further details on CIL , including the proposed charges and accompanying viability information can be found on CIL webpage.

Neighbourhood planning

A lot of our neighbourhood planners across the authority have been busy in the last few weeks preparing to launch draft plans for consultation, getting ready for submission to examination and signing off their completed plans. A big congratulations to Bollington Town Council for completing their plan which was put to referendum on 10 May and returned a vote 90% in favour, and Handforth and Disley have both secured successful examinations and will be headed to the polls on 10 July; Moston have just completed their regulation 14 consultation with Wrenbury and Knutsford consulting on draft plans at the moment. We’ve 51 neighbourhood planning groups across the borough with 16 communities having now completed the process and we’re expecting a series of new plans to be submitted over the summer. We keep an updated map of who’s doing what and where they’re up to on the landing page of the neighbourhood planning website and if you are preparing to submit, and would like the team to review your plans ahead of this, please do get in touch with us.

Since our last briefing, Locality has relaunched their support offer with a new website and a new round of grant funding, all available via Locality's neighbourhood planning support. Groups are eligible for up to £9,000 to support their plan making and up to a further £8,000 plus technical support, where your plan seeks to allocate development sites. The government has also clarified its support for those groups wishing to modify or update a neighbourhood plan and for those of you who are thinking about this, the team is ready to advise on the process.

We’ve also recently updated our national monitoring of neighbourhood plans and you can download our data set from our neighbourhood planning toolkit, which includes links to every made neighbourhood plan in the country. The data set includes information on population size, whether the plan allocates development sites and whether it includes policies on local green gaps – importantly it also includes links to each made neighbourhood plan so that you can see how others have approached different planning issues around the country.

To keep an eye on progress around the borough, news of new resources and national policy, do sign up to our fortnightly neighbourhood planning update via our neighbourhood planning website.

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.