Campaigners renew call for support as deadline looms
CAMPAIGNERS are renewing calls for support in their fight against plans for hundreds of new homes in Cheadle.
Public consultation on the revised Staffordshire Moorlands Local Plan, which includes a blueprint for up to 1,500 houses in Cheadle alone over the next 14 years, is due to end on September 22.
And action groups in the town are urging townsfolk to have their say at a public meeting tomorrow (Thursday).
A spokesperson for Cheadle North and North East Action Group, said: “The council’s latest plan contains provision for more than 6,000 houses in the Moorlands area by 2031, including 1,495 in Cheadle.
“But we think that’s far, far too many and we’re doing what we can to prevent that from being passed.
“The previous Local Plan relating to Cheadle was found to be ‘unsound’ by the planning inspector who said site selection was not based on then-available evidence.
“We hope it will fail again because it seems that the council are not learning from previous mistakes, not listening to public opinion and appear willing to waste taxpayers’ money on another potentially unsound plan.
“Local residents feel incredibly frustrated about the council’s apparent unwillingness to listen and it’s vital that we all raise our objections in the strongest terms.”
District council officers will be among those attending the Local Plan drop-in session at the Guild Hall, Cheadle from 5 to 8pm.
The spokesperson added: “We’re urging everyone, not only in the town but also in the surrounding area, to make their views known to council officers at that meeting.
“Only if they understand the huge weight of public opinion against these proposals might the council change their way of thinking.
“But the best way for people to raise objections is via official forms on our website, which must be submitted by September 22.”
Forms can be downloaded at www.northeastcheadle.co.uk
The Cheadle North and North East Group added: “The most recent Local Plan documentation revealed the council still intends to allow 6,080 houses to be built in the Moorlands up to 2031, even when the independent consultant it appointed recommended a minimum of 4,465.
“So why is the council keen to build more than 1,500 houses that aren’t needed and why does their plan include development on greenfield sites?”
Greg Powell said Cheadle Unite submitted representation last year detailing how it felt the level of housing planned for Cheadle and the Moorlands as a whole is ‘excessive’.
Mr Powell, secretary of the group, said: “The government’s own statistics predict a natural levelling off of housing demand across the area, but SMDC instead commissioned a report that retains justification for large-scale development based on a model that we believe is seriously flawed and entirely unsustainable.
“Despite numerous housing developments, no infrastructure improvements have been forthcoming for decades and, in the current economic climate, that’s unlikely to change.
“We feel it’s reasonable to ask – who will be accountable when our overstretched infrastructure fails to cope?”
The Unite group has updated its website with more on the key issues as they see them and is urging residents to visit www.cheadleunite.co.uk
The Local Plan document itself can be viewed by going to www.staffsmoorlands.gov.uk/localplan
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