A ROW about housing land in Davenham and Moulton came to a head during a heated council meeting.
The argument centres on the role of a Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC) document which lists potential sites for development.
This Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) suggests parcels of land across the Davenham and Moulton ward where more than 3,000 homes could be built during the next 20 years.
The Guardian reported Moulton Parish Council’s fears that this document would be used by developers looking for sites, raised in the November meeting by Clr Arthur Wood.
But CWAC councillors for the ward, Clrs Helen Weltman, Elton Watson and Gaynor Sinar, wrote to the Guardian to point out that the SHLAA was not a policy document or planning consent and to reassure residents that any proposals would be assessed through the planning system.
Clrs Weltman and Watson attended the January meeting of Moulton Parish Council to speak to councillors and residents.
Resident Margaret Newton said: “At the last meeting I said I was dismayed and disappointed about the letter but actully I was disgusted.
“I wanted to ask our councillors if they’d actually been to the public consultation of Bellway where they used the SHLAA as a reason for identifying the area of Jack Lane they wanted to build in.
“If Bellway is going to use the SHLAA for development then so are other developers.
“We weren’t scaremongering because in actual fact developers are using the SHLAA.”
Clr Elton Watson said that the councillors stood by the letter.
He said: “We were trying to put forward that the SHLAA is not a licence to build.
“There is still a process to go through.”
In a letter to the parish council, the three CWAC councillors said that all local authorities, including CWAC, have to prepare a SHLAA as evidence their local plans.
While a SHLAA does not go through a public consultation process, the local plan itself does.
They emphasised that the current pressure for houses in west Cheshire is caused by the lack of a five-year supply of housing land.