It's time for a review

WE agree with the comments of Clr Angela Clayton that the opinion of councillors seems to carry no weight in planning decisions.

We were impressed with the professional approach of Cheshire West and Chester councillors.

However according to Fiona Edwards, planning officer at the planning hearing, there seem to be very few hard rules by whcih the council can legitimately refuse a planning application. This applies even if the development is on open countryside and good agricultural land such as that at Welsh Lane.

Worse still the council have to foot a very large bill if the refusal is overturned at appeal. It seems unreasonable if a decision taken in a democratic fashion then has to be paid for out of rate payers money if the developer wins at appeal.

We may need more houses, but due to the exorbitant sums of money developers have to pay to land owners who get planning permission coupled with the cost of building, all that is often built is very costly houses in prime open space, that are too expensive for those who need the houses most.

It is time the Government reviewed the workings of the new planning law before the Cheshire countryside becomes a giant housing estate of four and five bedroom houses with the added traffic and roads for people who are most likely to have to travel to Manchester and other cities for work.

John Higgs, Swanlow Lane, Winsford


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