CWAC Core Strategy Consultation
Residents of Cheshire West and Chester are being asked to choose between three levels of growth for the CWAC area for the next fifteen years. The alternatives are ‘low growth’, ‘medium growth’ and ‘high growth’ options. The main difference between these levels of growth is the number of new houses which are proposed to be built and the amount of land which will be required to build each level of housing.
Developers and landowners have been invited to submit sites for potential development. A schedule and maps of these sites has been compiled. The schedule includes sites in the Green Belt and playing field areas. These sites are currently listed as ‘discounted sites’ and would not normally be considered for development. However, the options offered make it clear that the ‘medium’ and ‘high’ growth options will involve the release of Green Belt and other sites on the ‘discounted’ list.
It is argued that high figures of speculative housing are required to induce the developers to provide ‘affordable’ housing (the Council states that 30-40% will be ‘affordable’). However, developers are already negotiating with CWAC planners for a substantially lower percentage of ‘affordable’ houses.
CPRE is very concerned at the very high housing numbers proposed for Chester and its rural area, which are higher then the figures for other parts of the CWAC area. CPRE believes that a cautious approach to development in Chester is required with the emphasis on quality rather than quantity.
The regeneration of existing derelict and underused brownfield sites is more sustainable than a rush to develop Greenfield sites.
The release of Green Belt land would enable developers to ‘cherry-pick’ the most profitable sites, leaving behind a legacy of dereliction.
CPRE has urged CWAC to display the eighteen maps and potential housing sites for the Chester area so that residents may assess the impact of potential development in their own area before responding to the Council’s questionnaire. If you are in the process of replying to the questionnaire please contact the council to find out how you can see the maps before submitting your response.