Cheshire East Council is to decide whether it should update long-term planning strategy in response to changes to its environmental strategy and investment opportunities of HS2.
A meeting of the council’s environment and communities committee on 1 July will consider a report that recommends giving the go-ahead to update the Local Plan. The Local Plan sets planning strategy and policies and allocates sites across Cheshire East for development in order to inform future decisions on planning applications.
The borough’s councillors are advised to vote to review the Local Plan following the accelerated arrival of HS2 in Crewe, as well to better reflect the Council’s wider Corporate Plan which includes much stronger action on tackling the climate emergency that the existing planning strategy accommodates.
The council’s current Local Plan was adopted in July 2017 following more than three years of public comments and submissions on the proposals and 13 rounds of public consultations, and will remain in law for several years when a new plan can be ratified.
Cllr Mick Warren, chair of Cheshire East Council’s environment and communities committee, said:
“If the decision is made, the preparation of a new Local Plan would be a major undertaking involving extensive public consultation. It would also need to take account of the government’s proposed planning reforms expected to come into effect in 2024.
“While any new Local Plan was in preparation, the policies of the existing, adopted local plan strategy would remain the starting point for deciding planning applications.”
The adoption of Cheshire East Council’s local plan strategy in 2017 followed several years of public comments and submissions on the council’s proposed strategic blueprint for planning housing, infrastructure and employment development across the borough to 2030. A new Local Plan would extend until the 2040s, however local authorities are required to review it within five years of adoption.