deferred - Muller Development - Nantwich South land near Broad Lane (2) (1)

Council chiefs have issued a stinging open letter to the Secretary of State, strongly criticising his decision to grant a planning appeal to build homes in Nantwich.

Cheshire East has formally written to Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for housing, communities and local government, expressing “dismay” at his ruling to permit the development of up to 189 homes at Stapeley.

The letter says the decision is a “significant blow” to public confidence in the planning system, and “undermines the principles of effective plan making”.

And it adds it will “likely lead to a further scramble for developers to seek permission for other unplanned sites”.

In their joint open letter, Cllr Sam Corcoran, the leader of Cheshire East Council, and Cllr Toni Fox, the council’s cabinet member for planning, said: “Cheshire East has embraced the need to deliver appropriate level of housing across the borough with a Local Plan target of 36,000 homes over the plan period to 2030 – which is well over household projections for the area.

Funding - Leader Cllr Sam Corcoran - mental health champions
Cllr Sam Corcoran

“For the last two years, Cheshire East has seen more than 3,000 housing completions – the highest figures ever recorded in Cheshire East.

“It puts the borough among the highest-performing councils for house building investment.

“This council has a very robust housing land supply and is on target to deliver that housing in a planned and sustainable manner by also bringing forward the delivery of supporting infrastructure in accordance with our adopted Local Plan Strategy.

“We are, therefore, dismayed by your decision to allow the planning appeal at Stapeley, despite the clear conflict with development plan policies on the grounds that it delivers more housing.

“Many thousands of Cheshire East residents have engaged in the Local Plan process over many years and have also been involved in the development of more than 30 neighbourhood plans across the borough.

Minister Robert Jenrick - pic by Chris McAndrew
Minister Robert Jenrick

“Your decision to place such significant weight on the delivery of housing undermines the principles of effective plan making.

“It will leave many, particularly around Nantwich, to question why they bothered.

“The decision flies in the face of the government’s stated commitment to a plan-led system.

“Cheshire East is an area promoting substantial plan-led growth, yet it is still vulnerable to unplanned, speculative housing development.

“The public’s confidence that up-to-date plans provide certainty as to what development they will see take place in their local area has taken a significant blow.

“Your decision will inevitably have further consequences and will likely lead to a further scramble for developers to seek permission for other unplanned sites.

“This will not only cause further disquiet for residents but also risks diverting valuable resources away from making progress on allocated site applications, causing delay to the very sites which would be able to deliver housing in a timely manner.

“It is notable that it will be 10 years from application submission for this site to actually deliver any beneficial housing.”

We contacted the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government.

An MHCLG spokesperson said: “As the decision letter explains, the wide range of issues raised in this matter have been taken into account based on the detailed findings of the planning inspector.”

One Comment

  1. It says something when the local MP is bi passed by Cheshire East Council and go straight to the top man, the Council may be Labour/Independent run but there would normally be assistance from the MP but it does become very obvious that the Borough has no confidence in Mr Mullen.

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