Nantwich South artist impression, Muller Homes

A campaigner fighting  housing developments in Nantwich fears the latest ruling by a planning inspector on Cheshire East’s 5-year supply is a “huge blow”.

Pat Cullen, who heads the Protect Stapeley group, says residents have been “let down”.

He spoke out after Nantwichnews revealed how a Government inspector dismissed Cheshire East’s claims of a five-year housing supply when he upheld an appeal and gave permission for 94 homes on land near Sandbach.

In his report, the inspector said there was a “distinct lack of credible hard evidence” provided by Cheshire East to justify its projections for new housing.

Now many fear this will pave the way for successful appeals for companies like Muller Homes, who are bidding to build the first phase of a 1,100-home “Nantwich South” development (pictured) on land off Peter De Stapleigh Way.

Mr Cullen said: “This is a huge blow to Stapeley residents and to Cheshire East residents as a whole. The council has let us down yet again.

“To get the figures wrong once was indefensible, to get them wrong twice is gross mismanagement, plain and simple.

“I would like the council to tell local residents who is responsible for this.

“However, it gets worse. Paragraph 21 of the Inspector’s report says that the council has changed its assumptions on lead in times (now reduced) and housing delivery times (now increased) from the first calculation it presented.

“This is ‘doctoring’ figures to tell the story you want to tell.

“The Stapeley decision has been ‘recovered’ by the Secretary of State and I’m sure he will be aware of this new information.

“However, I hope he takes in to account the whole Nantwich picture, that is, Nantwich is more than meeting its housing targets.”

Cheshire East Council Leader Michael Jones told Nantwichnews he was “disappointed” and hinted that the authority may challenge the inspector’s ruling.

“We see that the Inspector under-played our moratorium argument which the Secretary of State has said should be considered,” he said.

“So we are aware any application which is with an Inspector is perverse unless evidenced and as such we will look to go to Judicial review and re-challenge our position with a more developed evidence base.

“I have communicated with the CEC planning department and we are reviewing all of our statements to the Inspector and then we will seek legal advice on any challenge.

“We are always disappointed to lose any planning permission which is not plan led or sustainable and the fight will continue on this site hopefully, but also sites throughout CEC including South Nantwich.”

A four-day public inquiry into Muller Homes bid for the first phase of “Nantwich South” was held in Crewe in February.

The report and decision by Secretary of State may not be made public until July.

2 Comments

  1. Steve says:

    The fact that there are people already using surveying equipment on the fields makes me think this is already a done deal.

  2. Keith williams says:

    I find it amazing that the council can continue In their position following such inept performances. How much public money has been wasted creating these failed reports and how much have individual councillor benefitted from carrying out fact finding missions and / or attend meetings ?
    Yet another show of utter incompetence from the lot of them

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