Last year SMDC carried out a so called ‘consultation’ with the public regarding housing allocations. At the time it was claimed that we needed over 6000 dwellings across the moorlands with a target of 1350 dwellings for Cheadle within a period of just 15 years (to 2031).
MP Karen Bradley and the Housing Minister Brandon Lewis MP have stated on the radio and in writing that we only need to build to meet the needs of the local community.
The reality is that local demand is much lower than 6000, a fact SMDC has known since Feb 2015. The latest Office for National Statistics figures  predict a significant levelling off of the Moorlands Population. The latest housing requirement prediction  is only 2573 dwellings (less than half the 6000). All things being equal Cheadle would only need to make provision for 563 dwellings (and surely then, only if our infrastructure - roads, doctors, schools etc have the capacity). The consultation that took place last year attracted over 5,500 responses the vast majority of which opposed the excessive and inappropriate developments being considered.
We had hoped that the latest population and household requirements, the 5,500 feedback from last year’s consultation, reality of our roads and infrastructure and the Housing Ministers statement would have directed SMDC to take a different approach. However this has not happened.
SMDC have (under government direction) commissioned a report that to summarise, justifies retention of the high housing levels using an Oxford Economics Model. The model claims that due to an aging population, to see a net gain of just 85 Jobs through to 2031 it is necessary to secure a net migration of 7,697 people into the area.
This model is clearly flawed. It is not sustainable and is purely financially based. It does not reflect the aspirations of the community it does not reflect on quality of life, the genuine infrastructural issues that we have for example with our congested roads. There is a suggestion that a link road ‘might’ happen but its prospects are limited and contentious within our community.
What SMDC aren’t making clear with their plan or asking us about is:
Are we OK with a huge unspecified net Migration of nearly 8,000 over the next 15 years?
They are taking it for granted that we are ok with this, alongside major road congestion, increased demand on our schools and doctors, loss of open fields the list goes on.
Residents might ask:
Why are SMDC going ahead with such high figures?
Who is to blame SMDC or the Government?
In our (Cheadle Unites) understanding of the situation the fact is that while Government states it is for local residents to decide on housing levels, the fact is that they have put large incentives in place to build new houses. For every new build Central Government matches the Council Tax income every year for 6 years. There are no conditions on how the additional income is spent. In 2011/12 The Chief Exec of SMDC received remuneration of £213,155 . The last SMDC Planning Manager received a redundancy package of £185,320 in 2015 .
The new homes bonus is our tax payers money working against us. This arrangement is failing society. The Campaign to protect rural England (CPRE) have a number of articles like ‘Set up to fail’ on www.cpre.org.uk that explain why.
In our case easy picking Greenfields are being targeted over regeneration of the Potteries where adequate infrastructure has been proven to exist for short term financial gain.
In addition we understand planning officers are applying pressure on weaker councils to take on more housing.
So both SMDC and Government are to blame unless we press our councillors to recognise our demands and face the reality of our infrastructure and local aspirations.
What can you do?
We urge residents write to your Councillors (google ‘smdc councillors’), to SMDC Exec and our MPs detailing how you feel about the plans.
If you think we can help e.g. attend a meeting, or want to be kept informed email us email@example.com.
There is also a load of historic detail on our website www.cheadleunite.co.uk.
 Office for National Statistics Sub-National Population Predictions (SNPP) 2012
 Department for Communities and Local Government Household Predictions 2015
 Buxton Advertiser 2 June 2013
 Leek Post and Times 29th July 2015
1320 Houses/Dwellings Still Planned for Cheadle250 Houses In Cheadle North East Brookhouses Development already approved
26%+ Swell in Our Population Planned in 12 years 441 In Urban Sites Around Cheadle 200 Properties on Small Urban Extensions