Malbank Waters housing development - Queens Drive - Nantwich - aerial shot

The head of planning at Cheshire East Council has hit back at claims that fewer homes should be built in the borough over the next 12 years.

Cheshire East adopted its Local Plan for up to 2030 last July, complete with the promise to deliver 1,800 new homes every year.

But Labour members have urged the council to rip it up and reduce that to 1,142 homes a year, claiming recent Government figures suggested population growth will be slower than expected.

And their call is now being renewed after Andy Burnham, Labour Mayor of Greater Manchester, announced last week he would delay his region’s housing plan in light of the new figures.

Cllr Brian Roberts, Labour member for Crewe West, said: “Mayor Andy Burnham isn’t going to plough on using old figures – unlike the leadership of CEC.

“An unnecessary extra 658 houses a year will be allowed by the Tories, almost all of which will be on former greenbelt and greenfield sites.

“This will generate in the region of an extra £30 million-a-year profits for speculative property developers.”

But Sean Hannaby, director of planning and sustainable development at Cheshire East, insists the needs of the two areas are completely different.

He says the borough’s “vibrant economy” led the planning inspector to conclude the borough has a need for higher growth – and that CEC’s plan cannot be compared to Manchester’s.

He said: “Firstly, Greater Manchester’s plan is still under preparation and is yet to pass through independent examination, whereas the CEC local plan strategy has passed full examination and was found to be ‘sound’ as recently as June 2017.

“Secondly, the two areas have different demographic profiles – with Cheshire East generally having fewer younger adults and more older people.

“This means that, if the economy of the borough is to continue to thrive, it will be necessary to provide homes for more people of working age.

“And thirdly, the economy of the borough is continuing to thrive above the north west regional average.

“Because Cheshire East’s economy is both strong and resilient, the growth in the number of new jobs is attracting people and thus boosting demand for new houses in the borough.”

Conservative Cllr Ainsley Arnold, cabinet member for housing, planning and regeneration, believes CEC is being responsible by “providing for the housing needs of our area”.

He added: “All of us need a decent home to live in and, at a time when so many people are looking for a home they can call their own, CEC is concentrating on delivering the wide variety of housing the borough and indeed the nation needs.

“Successive governments have employed the system of statutory development plans as a means of determining the right number of homes each council area needs.

“But what works for Greater Manchester won’t necessarily work for Cheshire East.

“Having recently adopted a local plan, in which housing numbers have been independently assessed and scrutinised, national policy advises that we stick with those numbers for the next few years.

“That seems to be a common-sense approach – and we intend on following it. To do otherwise simply invites months of costly legal wrangling and uncertainty for our communities.”

(pic courtesy of Jonathan White)


  1. All the development is in Crewe and Nantwich? Have you not been to Sandbach? Targeted for its M6 location and train station direct route to Manchester.
    Kids arent getting into the catchment primary schools now. Starting to see the effects of overdevelopment and no infrastructure to support this.

  2. Perhaps the Planning department can explain why there are no infrastructure improvements or amenities being built by these developers?
    It may also wish to explain why all the development is in Crewe and Nantwich and not in other areas? It won’t of course because that would mean admitting they are less than honest in their dealings with these developers who have no concerns whatsoever about the impact these hideous and faceless developments have on the residents and the community.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website, to learn more please read our privacy policy.


Captcha * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.