The public consultation on the next phase of Cheshire East Council’s development plan has begun.
Once finalised, the document will provide the approved framework for housing, employment, and other key infrastructure sites through to 2030.
The council has now launched a number of consultations, which will help identify further non-strategic sites for sustainable development, including housing.
The council stresses that no final decisions will be made until the consultation process has concluded and all feedback has been considered.
The site allocations and development policy document (SADPD) will follow a similar pathway to the Local Plan Strategy, with two rounds of six-week public consultations, supported by a range of evidence documents.
This will be followed up by a series of public hearings chaired by a government planning inspector.
When adopted, the SADPD will replace the policies of the three legacy borough plans – covering Macclesfield, Congleton and Crewe and Nantwich.
The majority of development needs have already been provided for through the Local Plan Strategy.
Sites in the SADPD will be non-strategic (generally sites of fewer than 150 homes or five hectares (12.4 acres) in size).
Some will be focused in key employment areas in principal towns, or in smaller key service centres.
The council must also meet its obligation to provide affordable housing, Gypsy and Traveller sites and sites for travelling show people and, as part of the consultation process, will be calling for potential sites to be identified.
A further element of public consultation is the review of planning boundaries – such as those for greenbelt and built-up areas.
The council says there will be measures put in place to protect land regarded as important for biodiversity and recreation.
Cllr Ainsley Arnold, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for housing, planning and regeneration, said: “I would urge all interested members of the community to get involved in this important consultation process.
“We know that Cheshire East is a truly great place to live, work, do business, raise a family and have access to good schools and quality housing.
“It is crucial that this next phase in the local plan process is open and transparent and that we encourage as many people as possible, including stakeholders and partners, to engage in this consultation process.”
Cllr Arnold added that the Local Plan Strategy and the SADPD are central to achieving sustainable development in the borough.
The council is also consulting on a revised and updated ‘statement of community involvement’, which sets out how the council will engage with stakeholders and the wider public when preparing planning policies and considering planning applications.
Links to all consultation documents can be found by visiting www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/localplan.
The consultations run until 22nd October 2018.