COMMUNITIES have given a cautious welcome to the news that an elusive five-year housing supply target has been met in west Cheshire.

The housing shortfall has been sited by a number of developers wishing to build around Northwich, Winsford and the surrounding villages and caused plans refused by Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC) to be approved on appeal by the Planning Inspectorate.

At CWAC's latest planning meeting Fiona Hore, the council's development planning manager, announced the council now has a 5.64-year housing supply.

This caused three planning applications for Davenham and Kingsmead to be pulled fromCWAC's strategic planning committee agenda on Thursday.

The three, including 113 houses at Hill Top Farm, in Kingsmead, 53 homes in Jack Lane, in Davenham, and 70 houses at Fountain Lane, in Davenham, were all expected to be approved.

Clr Helen Weltman, ward councillor for Davenham and Moulton, said: "The council has its five year housing supply – 5.64 years to be exact – but the reports and information about these plans were written before we knew we could say we have got the housing land supply.

"They need to be looked at again in the light of having the five-year housing supply."

She added: "Each application has to be looked at on its material considerations but I think it's good news that we've got our five-year housing supply at the moment.

"It would be good if everyone can get on with their neighbourhood plans then we will have more control.

"It's about development that will be more acceptable to communities rather than having these big applications foisted upon us."

Clr Arthur Wood, from Davenham Parish Council, said: "It's a very worrying time for us because we just don't know whether we are going to have our village totally destroyed.

"But anything that could change the direction is to be welcomed.

"We have at least got a little bit of respite until we see what they're going to do with these three applications.

"I don't want people to be under the illusion that they've gone they're still there and we have got to carry on fighting.

"They're bound to come back on the planning list at some point even if the reports are re-written.

"We have to watch this space and keep our fingers crossed."