Setting the record straight

2:54pm Wednesday 4th December 2013

THERE seems to be a general misunderstanding of what a strategic housing land availability assessment is (SHLAA), Guardian, November 27.

It is not a document that allocates land for housing development, it is a catalogue of sites that may or may not be deemed acceptable in planning terms through planning applications.

SHLAAs are used to inform the development of local plan policies and parish councils will have chance to comment once the next stage of the local plan is out for public consultation.

SHLAAs are not, in themselves policy documents which is how some people portray them.

We are surprised to hear Clr Arthur Wood was not aware of the SHLAA as Vale Royal Borough Council also produced this document and Clr Wood was a member of that council. Just because land is identified doesn’t mean it is acceptable in planning respects.

The main reason why planning permission is granted, often through an appeal, for housing development on sites on the edge of villages in the borough, is the absence of a five-year supply of housing land.

There has been a ‘backlog of under-delivery’ going back to 2003 due to moratoriums on house building and the recession.

Coming back to the issue of land for housing in Davenham and Moulton ward, there is no plan to develop 3,200 homes. The council is doing everything it can to put its new local plan in place as soon as possible. This is key because once done, a new locally-determined housing target and policies will then govern housing land release.

Clrs Gaynor Sinar, Elton Watson and Helen Weltman Davenham and Moulton Ward Cheshire West and Chester

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