Holmes Chapel


Housing Policy
Town Strategy
Appeal Rulings

In September 2017 the Planning Inspectorate allowed an appeal by a developer to build 10 houses at Dunkirk Farm Paddock, London Road, Holmes Chapel. The application site was a green field site in the open countryside and outside settlement boundaries. The site was not allocated for housing in the recently approved Cheshire East Local Plan.


It was noted that the targets for housing set out in the Brereton and Holmes Chapel Neighbourhood Plans had already been met or exceeded. However, the Inspector commented that “the targets set out in the neighbourhood plans and indeed the Development Plan as a whole, should not be viewed as maxima and therefore a means of resisting sustainable development”.


What is particularly worrying is that the Inspector noted that the application conflicted with the Strategic Green Gap policy of the Local Plan and also with the settlement boundary policy of the Brereton Neighbourhood Plan, but gave approval for the development to go ahead. The main reasons for allowing the development were that it would provide some affordable housing and that adjoining developments meant that the impact on the open countryside was limited.


In the ruling the Inspector specifically referred to the recent Supreme Court case which Cheshire East Council claimed as a momentous victory during the general election campaign. That case was actually lost by Cheshire East Council and it appears to have set a regrettable precedent for allowing housing in green gap sites.


Cllr Nick Mannion said , “The Local Plan was supposed to stop speculative housing applications, but it seems that while the Conservatives remain in power then housing will continue to be approved on greenfield sites in East Cheshire.”


Sam Corcoran, Labour Councillor for Sandbach Heath & East, said, “The Conservatives claimed the Supreme Court ruling allowing 150 houses in Willaston as a ‘momentous victory’ because they said they had won a technical argument that didn’t affect the outcome. Then they claimed that the Local Plan would stop the goldrush of speculative housing applications. The reality is that while the Conservatives remain in power, developers will continue to gain planning permission for housing on greenfield sites in Cheshire East.”

 Link to full appeal ruling: