THE future of Knutsford will be decided next Wednesday.
Cheshire East Council will submit its Local Plan to its Strategic Planning Board on Wednesday, February 26 but before that the authority revealed the strategic sites and planning policies contained within it.
The consultation itself has generated enough words to produce five volumes of War and Peace and has been almost six years in the making.
In Knutsford, it is expected to contain plans for around 600 homes, employment sites and community facilities.
The council said each site in the plan – including those in Knutsford, Mobberley, Goostrey and Holmes Chapel – had more than 20 criteria and 80 individual checks to ensure sustainability including accessibility to public services, open spaces, transport, heritage, flooding, climate change, health impact assessment, equality impact assessment and effect on rural communities.
Clr Michael Jones, leader of Cheshire East Council, said he believed it was ‘one of the best Local Plans in the country’.
“This has been an incredible journey – and we’ve had to steer through some tricky diversions to get the best deal for the people of Cheshire East,” he said.
“What we’ve achieved is testament to all the hard work of councillors, officers and the public who have been a strong vocal presence through this process and we now hope that we have struck the best balance possible to get it right.
“This plan is about developing Cheshire East to maintain its reputation as the best place to live in the north west, whilst providing for our younger generation so they can live and work in the area they were born.
“It is about the future, job availability, excellent educational standards and a great quality of life. This plan, coupled with our five year housing supply, is also about protecting the residents of Cheshire East against unwanted, unsustainable and unplanned development.”
The Local Plan for north of the borough includes a new village east of Handforth, major new employment and housing development north of Congleton aligned with a new proposed link road and ‘some’ expansion of building on the outskirts of Macclesfield in addition to redevelopment within the town.
Major proposals for south of the borough include regeneration of Crewe, expansion of the green belt between Crewe and Nantwich and more houses in Nantwich, Alsager, Middlewich and Sandbach.
The Strategic Planning Board meeting takes place at Macclesfield Town Hall on Wednesday, February 26 at 10.30am. It will then go before the full council on Friday, February 28 at its meeting at Crewe Alexandra Football Club on Gresty Road at 4pm.
The Local Plan will require ratification from both committees prior to a final period for representations and submissions to the Planning Inspectorate.