A PLANNING blueprint for Alderley Edge for the next decade has gained overwhelming support from the community, says the plan’s steering group.

Sarah Greenwood, co-chairman of the Alderley Edge Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, said the latest consultation on the plan attracted more than 90 per cent backing from residents and groups for all 20 policies within the plan.

The consultation from January 27 to March 9 allowed residents and businesses to respond, as well as developers and statutory consultees with an interest in the village, and the steering group was pleased with the level of response.

The latest Plan was drafted using the results of all the previous consultations and the commissioned technical evidence.

The ensuing consultation is referred to as Regulation 14 stage in Neighbourhood Plan terminology.

Sarah said: “Following this latest public consultation, we are reviewing the Plan and making any final amendments to the policies.

“Once that is done the Plan will be submitted to Cheshire East Council with other documents including a Consultation Statement setting out who has been consulted and how their views have informed the Plan.

“Cheshire East Council will then undertake their own consultation (Regulation 15 stage), before the plan is submitted to an independent examiner.

“Due to the coronavirus pandemic this consultation cannot take place until libraries and public facilities are reopened.”

Once any further amendments have been made following Regulation 15 stage, the plan will be subject to a local Referendum and if there is a majority ‘Yes’ vote, it will be ‘made’ by Cheshire East Council and used to determine planning applications in Alderley Edge alongside the Local Plan until 2030.

Sarah added: “Getting the Neighbourhood Plan agreed is very important for all of us.

“Whilst our Plan has no powers to block new housing development - that lies in the hands of Cheshire East Council which specifies where new homes should be built, and if necessary releases Green Belt to build them on - it can influence the kind of houses that should be built, for example calling for more starter homes, affordable homes or for smaller homes for residents to downsize into.

“It can also call for higher eco standards to protect our environment.

It cannot deliver more schools, policing or medical facilities, but if new housing developments are being built then developers are required to contribute to invest in local facilities.

“If we have our Neighbourhood Plan in place then we will get more money to use in Alderley Edge than if we don’t.

“The Plan also provides support for the businesses of Alderley Edge.

It protects our green spaces, sports and leisure facilities.

“It specifies where the residents would be willing to accept some additional car parking, which a majority still feel is much needed.

“We look forward to being able to move onto the next stage of the Plan as soon as possible, and the Steering Group hopes we may be in a position to go to referendum within 12 months.”