Campaigners in Wistaston have pleaded with Cheshire East Council to create a new “Green Belt” to stop more green areas being lost to developers.

They say the interim findings of the planning inspector’s examination of the Local Plan are a “kick in the teeth” for villages like Wistaston.

Residents are currently battling against Gladman Homes and its proposal to develop Witter’s Field, near Joey the Swan.

The application has gone to appeal and is due to be decided by the Planning Inspectorate in February next year.

Peter Wainwright, of the Hands Off Wistaston group (pictured), said: “The local community enjoy great recreational and health value from areas like Witter’s Field and the overwhelming desire of local residents is for this land to remain as is.

“But time and again the council is losing planning appeals because they can’t show they have an adequate supply of housing.

“We know the Government have moved the goalposts but enough is enough – time is running out.”

Cheshire East’s deputy leader Cllr David Brown “stepped back” from his role of overseeing the Local Plan after failing to have it adopted after five years and £3.7 million spent.

Mr Wainwright called on his replacement to ensure the need to “safeguard” existing Green Gap land and other open spaces in villages around Crewe and Nantwich.

“From Weston to Wistaston, and Shavington to Stapeley, South Cheshire residents have made it clear they feel under attack from unwanted development, regardless of whether their area is classed as Green Gap or not,” he added.

“Given the inconsistency of decisions by some planning inspectors, the best way to safeguard these areas for the community is to establish a new Green Belt across South Cheshire, as proposed in the Local Plan.

“There is definitely a case for the Green Belt and residents want it introduced.

“We urge Cheshire East and councillors Peter Raynes and Jamie Macrae to ensure this is a top priority.”

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