Thursday June 10th finally saw a vote by SMDC on what to do next with the long running LDF housing proposal. This last round of consultation ran for 7 weeks over the Christmas holiday finishing on January 22nd, these latest results for Cheadle showed the largest number of representations under this LDF, 816 in total with only 8% supporting the council’s proposal.
At the meeting held in Moorlands House, Leek Cllr Sybil Ralph announced to the meeting that there would be “No housing development in Mobberly and No development in Cheadle East” and said she was overwhelmed by the constructive responses from Cheadle. In addition to Cllr Ralph several other councillors’ made reference to the Public Meeting they attended at Cheadle Cricket Club (held by Cheadle Unite) stating that residents felt “confused and mislead” and there was an admission that this process “had within the last ten months managed to upset every single quadrant of Cheadle”.
So did SMDC listen? For the first time in this LDF process SMDC did vote to reduce the Cheadle housing requirement from the 1,500 originally proposed by 200 to 1,300. But the key facts that may not have been clear to the public is that despite comments from Cllr Ralph, the full SMDC document at section 7.5.10 actually makes reference to “unspecified small urban extension sites” and “These will still need to be on Greenfield sites”. No area in Cheadle is safe, the reduction of 200 is at least half a step in the right direction but with no commitment to improve the town’s infrastructure 1,300 houses will still result in extra strain on drains, wildlife habitat not to mention around a further 2,500 cars on road system which is overloaded.
One positive aspect of the meeting was the debate over making 50% of rural housing in villages affordable to local residents working in the rural community, suggestions for how this could work focused on the Peak Park planning example of using Parish boundaries and not a social housing points system as this can exclude local people from being eligible.
Cheadle Unite will continue to work for Cheadle residents in an attempt to get a better deal for our town and to leave behind a legacy we can be proud of for our children in the future. We are a long way from this yet but please check our website for updates (cheadleunite.co.uk) on the SMDC site allocation information as this becomes available.