3:20pm Wednesday 11th December 2013
By Gina Bebbington
PLANS for more than 60 new houses in Davenham have confirmed fears about the impact of a council document.
Bellway Homes has held a public consultation in advance of submitting proposals for 64 four and five bedroom homes at land off Jack Lane.
Supporting literature for the consultation points to Cheshire West and Chester Council’s (CWAC) Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) as evidence in favour of the site.
This document has been put together by CWAC to set out potential housing land in the area that could be developed during the next 20 years, and suggests more than 3,000 houses could be built in the Davenham and Moulton ward.
Parish councillors, including Moulton and Davenham councillor Arthur Wood, said they feared that once land was identified in the document, it would make it very difficult to refuse permission for future applications.
But Davenham and Moulton ward councillors Gaynor Sinar, Elton Watson and Helen Weltman wrote to the Guardian last week to emphasise that the SHLAA does not allocate land for housing or mean that it is acceptable in planning terms.
Moulton resident Margaret Newton said: “I was extremely disappointed to see the letter in the Guardian criticising Arthur Wood and saying we were scaremongering.
“Bellway Homes actually used the SHLAA in their presentation as one of the reasons why they chose Jack Lane.”
Clr Tony Rigby, Moulton Parish Council’s chairman, read from a Bellway Homes leaflet, which said that in its SHLAA, CWAC identify the land off Jack Lane as being a suitable location for residential development.
“If that’s not black and white I don’t know what is,” he said.
Clr Wood said: “If an application is put in it may well go to council and may well be refused but if it goes to an appeal an inspector would look at all these documents and take a view that these things have been put together by planning professionals and therefore there must be some suitability somewhere.
“That’s coupled with the fact that Cheshire west hasn’t got a five-year supply of housing.
“In the heading of the document it clearly states that it doesn’t imply the land will be allocated for housing, however it’s important evidence that will inform the local development framework.”
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