Plan opens way for green belt homes

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE -

THE PLAN which al­lows hun­dreds of homes on Mac­cles­field green belt has been adopted by the coun­cil.

It’s taken seven years, 11 rounds of con­sul­ta­tion and two rounds of scru­tiny by a gov­ern­ment plan­ning in­spec­tor but Cheshire East has voted to adopt the Lo­cal Plan.

It states what homes and in­fra­struc­ture can be built in Mac­cles­field and the bor­ough un­til 2030.

Its adop­tion means development can go ahead on sites al­lo­cated in the plan, with more than 4,000 homes ear­marked for Mac­cles­field.

This in­cludes 100 hectares of green belt in south west Mac­cles­field as well green space else­where in the town, in­clud­ing at the Kings School site on Fence Av­enue and Gaw End Lane in Lyme Green.

Green belt cam­paign­ers have ob­jected through­out the con­sul­ta­tion process. Now the plan is adopted, res­i­dents have con­cerns over what plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tions will be sub­mit­ted. There are al­ready plans by Robin­sons brew­ery for 150 homes on farm­land off Chelford Road.

Coun­cil­lors voted to adopt the plan at a meet­ing of full coun­cil on Thurs­day.

Coun Nick Man­nion, who rep­re­sents Mac­cles­field West and Ivy, said in his speech: “What we are being pre­sented with to­day is lit­tle more than a de­vel­oper’s char­ter which will sur­ren­der over 100 hectares of Mac­cles­field’s pre­cious green belt to hous­ing developers who will want to built four and five- bed­room ex­ec­u­tive homes rather than af­ford­able homes.

“The plan of­fers scant pro­tec­tion for res­i­dents al­ready suf­fer­ing pol­lu­tion lev­els that ex­ceed the le­gal max­i­mum around Bro­ken Cross.”

The fi­nal vote was 49 coun­cil­lors in favour with 20 against. 12 coun­cil­lors were ab­sent.

Coun Ains­ley Arnold, cab­i­net mem­ber for hous­ing and plan­ning and Tyther­ing­ton coun­cil­lor, wel­comed the move. He said: “Our Lo­cal Plan is com­pre­hen­sive and ro­bust and will give the peo­ple of Cheshire East its best pro­tec­tion against un­planned and un­sus­tain­able development. It also gives shape to where fu­ture growth in hous­ing, em­ploy­ment and in­fra­struc­ture will be ac­com­mo­dated within our bor­ough.”

The plan was voted through de­spite calls from the Labour group for a new plan in light of a re­cent re­port which showed se­ri­ous er­rors in the coun­cil’s air qual­ity data used to draw up the plan. It said er­rors came ‘as a re­sult of de­lib­er­ate and sys­tem­atic ma­nip­u­la­tion of data’.

Labour group leader, Coun Sam Cor­co­ran, said: “Work should im­me­di­ately start on a new Lo­cal Plan that takes the re­cently an­nounced pro­pos­als on the route of HS2 through Cheshire East into ac­count and the cor­rect air qual­ity

Land off Chelford Road, Hen­bury, where there are plans for 150 homes. In­set, Coun Nick Man­nion

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