SADPD 2nd Draft Consultation Bollington Town Council's Response

Date: 30th September 2019
Published by: David Naylor

The Site Allocations and Development Policies Document Version 2 (Second Draft) Consultation

The Town Council has now submitted its response to to this consultation via the consultation portal and by letter and email to Cheshire East's Spatial Planning Team and Cllr Toni Fox Cabinet Member for Planning.

As you may know the Town Council has secured planning barristers' written opinions concerning first version of the SADPD and also the current second version. Both these supported the Town Council's view that there are no exceptional circumstances for building on Bollington's green belt sites and that the method used by Cheshire East to share out the 3500 housing allocation between the local services centres (LSCs), of which Bollington is one, is fundamentally flawed.

These written legal opinions can be viewed by clicking on the links below:

First Legal Opinion

Second Legal Opinion

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 51 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 sourced a second barrister's opinion on version 2 of the SADPD which has concluded that the SADPD is still in error with flawed decision to use green belt land and the flawed methodology which decided how many homes Bollington needed to accommodate.

The Town Council hosted 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 session was a full house at the Civic Hall with 150 people present.

The next steps are for residents and the Town Council to submit responses to the consultation. Note the drop-in sessions mentioned above.

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

The SADPD copy of the Bollingtonian which is devoted solely to the SADPD

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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