RESIDENTS are being given more time to have their say on blueprints for the future for Cheshire East.

The borough council is urging people to get involved in the next stage of consultation for its Local Plan.

A six-week consultation on the development strategy was due to be launched on January 15.

But council bosses have decided to launch an advance copy, which is available to view now.

The Local Plan aims to promote economic growth, improve connectivity and protect the countryside from unplanned development for the next 20 years.

Ideas were first being put together for the plan two years ago, and it has since incorporated town strategies including the Knutsford Town Plan.

Clr David Brown, cabinet member for strategic communities, said: “We want people to have as much time as possible to digest and understand our draft development strategy, and so we are bringing forward the publication of the document so it can be viewed on our website over Christmas and people can then give their views.

“We hope this will give the best opportunity for as many as people as possible to comment on the proposals.

“I believe this draft development strategy keeps the best of what we all cherish about our towns and villages, whilst also providing for a successful and prosperous future for us all.

“This plan will ensure that Cheshire East will maintain and enhance its position as the number one borough in the north west.”

Council leader Michael Jones said: “I take very seriously my responsibility to protect the people of Cheshire East from unwanted and unplanned development.

“By extending the period for people to comment on the development strategy, I am confident we will give more people the time they need to consider the issues in depth.

“Our development strategy is a robust, jobs-led strategy to deliver targeted and sustainable development to benefit all the people of Cheshire East.

“The development strategy will deliver 27,000 new houses and 20,000 new jobs and the infrastructure needed for this to happen.

“This is a sustainable, plan-led strategy, which sends a strong message to the developers besieging our towns, inviting them to work with us to strengthen our towns.”