MP debates #Alsager’s planning issues in Parliament

Planning Speech 24 10 13Fiona Bruce MP continues to fight for her constituents on planning issues in Parliament. Speaking in a debate in Parliament on Planning and the Housing Supply Fiona Bruce once again championed her constituents fight for the protection of our greenspaces and for locally determined planning.

Below are some extracts of her speech relating to Alsager:

“ I am here as a voice for my constituents, who feel grievously let down by the lack of clarity of the planning policy, practices and procedures of local and national Government. Only one thing is clear: despite more than 20 action groups representing thousands of people across my constituency, despite many public meetings, despite my bringing successive leaders of Cheshire East council to meet Ministers for clarity on these issues, and despite countless letters having been sent to Ministers on behalf of constituents, we still have developer-led development in our area and unsustainable, unplanned development. It ignores town plans, places no weight on the emerging local plan and makes a mockery of localism.

In Alsager alone, which is a town of some 5,500 houses, applications are in the pipeline for 3,000 dwellings. This is a town recently described by the chief planning officer of Cheshire East council as “currently unsustainable”. And those are on greenfield sites. This is countryside. This is prime agricultural land.

The situation is also producing inconsistent decision making. Just last week, when two developers’ applications were accepted for Sandbach, we had a refusal for a site at Sandbach road north in Alsager. That was despite the inspectorate acknowledging the lack of a demonstrable five-year supply of deliverable housing in Cheshire East, and apparently, according to my interpretation, giving weight to the draft Cheshire East local plan, which other decisions refused to do

Responding to the debate the Planning Minister agreed to Fiona’s request for specific assistance to Cheshire East Council with their Local Plan “to get the plan to a point where it can pass examination.” This will be provided by the Minister’s team, which includes a former Chief Planning Inspector. Fiona spoke directly after the debate with the Leader of Cheshire East Council, Michael Jones, who has accepted this offer. Fiona is arranging the meeting urgently.

See full speech at

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