Housing Growth in Alsager.
Alsager is currently under threat from an uncontrolled surge in planning applications to build on Greenfield sites. These proposals have either been approved by Cheshire East or by Inspectors at appeal and new proposals keep coming. This contravenes policies defined in our accepted Town Plan and the Cheshire East Local Plan which has been submitted for examination. The reasons for this are outlined in the Background section of this site here.
We have a Town Plan, produced by our Town Council and agreed by residents. Developers are using the National Planning Policy Framework(NPPF) and the fact that our Local Authority is unable to demonstrate a 5 year supply of housing, to override the expressed wishes of the Alsager Community. The NPPF is very much biassed towards housing development. Cheshire East is sometimes passing planning proposals against the wishes of our Community. When Cheshire East correctly rejects some proposals, Developers are then appealing and in most cases winning those appeals against the wishes of the Community. Even when an appeal is won by Cheshire East, Developers then go to judicial review, which overturns the decision.
Click on the Image to see the current planning proposals and their impact. The Town Plan states that in the next 20 years, we will build no more than 1,000 houses in Alsager, all of which should be on our Brownfield sites. If all of the current proposals gain approval, this will mean in the region of 3,000 new houses. That’s a 60% growth in 20 years and we are still only in year 3 of a 20 year plan.
Decisions are being made by the Secretary of State which override the expressed wishes of Communities, in our case, primarily because Cheshire East does not as yet have a finalised Local Plan. One of the main reasons for this delay, is the disruption created by the Government reorganisation which created Cheshire East in the first place. Having said that however, following a position when plans were in place, this plan has been in preparation now since 2010 and the probability of having an operational plan accepted and a demonstrable 5 year supply of housing in place in 2015 is very unlikely. We want our elected representatives in both Local and Central Government to protect our Communities and listen to our wishes. We want planned development at appropriate and justifiable levels, with appropriate infrastructure improvements, not imposed and totally inappropriate development driven purely by Developers’ business interests.