Public Meeting - Greenbelt Threat - Site Allocation & Development Policies Document SADPD 2nd Draft

Date: 31st July 2019
Published by: David Naylor

A public Meeting is being held at the Civic Hall on Wednesday 7th August 7.30pm to discuss real threats to Bollington’s Greenbelt. It will give you a chance to understand what is being proposed by Cheshire East Council and what Bollington Town Council and the community have done, and can do over the next 3 – 6 months, to ensure that greenbelt use is a very last resort where all other alternatives have been eliminated.

The document proposing the use of Bollington’s greenbelt is: The Site Allocations and Development Policies Document (SADPD Second Draft)

Bollington Pages are from Page 158 of this long document.

Associated maps are:

Proposed Greenbelt Site BOL 1 Henshall Road

Proposed Greenbelt Site BOL 2 Greenfield Road/Oak Lane

Proposed Greenbelt Site BOL 3 Jackson Lane

Links to all the documents and maps are included below:

Background:

The Local Plan Strategy was the first part of Cheshire East Council's new local plan adopted in July 2017. It contains strategic planning policies and site allocations, which are now used by the council to determine planning applications.

The Site Allocations and Development Policies Document (SADPD) is the second part of the new local plan and it will contain more detailed planning policies and further site allocations. It will replace the detailed policies from the local plans from the former districts (Congleton; Crewe and Nantwich; and Macclesfield). Once adopted, the SADPD policies will be used alongside the Local Plan Strategy policies to determine planning applications.

The first draft SADPD was out for public consultation between 11 September and 22 October 2018. This was an opportunity to help shape the policies and proposals in the SADPD and to help make sure that the document would provide an up-to-date planning framework properly allocating land uses.

The Town Council was not happy about this first draft because it required Bollington to accommodate a total of 400 homes up until the year 2030. 318 had already been built or committed to be built from the start of the local plan in 2010 until 2030. This left 82 to provide which Cheshire East reduced to 79. However, Cheshire East decided that the only place to accommodate these 82 homes was on four of Bollington’s Greenbelt sites.

This was at odds with Bollington’s adopted Neighbourhood Plan and ignored brownfield sites which were very likely to become available before 2030 and accommodate that number of dwellings.

The Town Council sought an opinion from an eminent planning barrister who agreed with the Town Council that Cheshire East had not demonstrated that exceptional circumstances existed for the use of greenbelt and also that the decision to allocate 400 homes over the plan period was flawed and muddled and did not take account of Bollington’s high density and a number of other significant factors.

As part of the consultation this written opinion was sent to Cheshire East and a number of meetings were held with their spatial planning team.

Expectations were that the second draft of the SADPD document would address the issues raised. However, the second version has now been published and although Cheshire East has reduced the number of houses still to accommodate to 55 from 79 and also reduced the number of proposed greenbelt sites to accommodate them from four to three, they have failed to address the flawed decision to use green belt land and the flawed methodology which decided how many homes Bollington needed to accommodate.

The Town Council has resolved to fund a planning barrister to represent the Council and the Community at the Independent Inspector’s hearing of this version 2 of the SADPD which is very likely to be the version presented to the inspector for approval or amendment probably early in the new year.

In the meantime Cheshire East will be holding another slightly longer 8 weeks consultation to gain responses to the document.

Because of this the Town Council is hosting a public meeting on Wednesday 7th August at 7.30pm in the Civic Hall to inform people about the latest proposals, to take views, to explain our view, to show maps of the three proposed greenbelt development sites and to encourage residents to respond to the forthcoming consultation.

The relevant documents can be read by clicking on the following links:

Bollington Town Council's Response to the First Draft

The Letter to Cheshire East following the receipt of Counsel’s Opinion

The Second Draft of the SADPD which will form the topic of the consultation

Proposed Greenbelt Site BOL 1 Henshall Road

Proposed Greenbelt Site BOL 2 Greenfield Road/Oak Lane

Proposed Greenbelt Site BOL 3 Jackson Lane

We will be providing a link to the consultation portal at Cheshire East when the consultation is launched giving guidance and how to respond either on the portal ot by email or by post.

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