No more new homes until plan is approved

 Holmes Chapel Parish Council has called for Cheshire East Council to halt approving house building applications until their neighbourhood plan is in place. 
The request came from the group as it have concerns that land needed for vital infrastructure will be lost to further housing development. 
The parish council is currently in the process of developing the plan that would provide the legal and binding structure for all future development in the village. 
Working groups have been formed in five key policy areas and the groups are now gathering data about the village and the surrounding area on issues such as housing, countryside and environment, community and well being. 
Through their research, the groups said that it has “quickly become apparent” that the number of new houses already being built or with planning permission represents a 25% increase in homes in the village. 
Steve Ranger, chairman of the parish council, said: “Sustainable development in Holmes Chapel needs all new housing developments, to have a parallel development of vital services.
“The neighbourhood plan will incorporate the need for expanded educational and health services; the need for additional parking; and the need to preserve the village environment.
“It will also look at ways of expanding business and employment opportunities. The village centre is already fully developed with little or no room for additional facilities.
“The neighbourhood plan will seek to earmark land to ensure the services and traffic flow needed by Holmes Chapel and the surrounding villages can develop in line with the increasing population.”
A statement released on behalf of the parish council said: “We would like to see Cheshire East call a halt to further planning approvals until the neighbourhood plan is prepared and a way forward is established that balances population size and housing growth with service provision.
“Without such a pause, there is a danger that land needed for vital infrastructure is lost to further housing development.”

Brian Bath, the leader of the neighbourhood plan team, said: “This figure does not take into account applications for major developments just outside the village boundary and in the neighbouring villages that depend on Holmes Chapel for vital services such as health, leisure and retail.  Even so developers are continuing to explore even more large developments in what is left of the green space in or near Holmes Chapel. “
The Neighbourhood Plan Team will be attending the Village Fair at the Victoria Club on Sunday 3rd May, when residents who return a short questionnaire will have the opportunity to provide more opinions on what the village wants and possibly win a prize.
In June a comprehensive questionnaire will be sent to all village residents and businesses, informing them of what has been discovered and asking for opinions and support in all the key areas.
The steering group is still seeking further help and for those who would like to be involved, information is available on the Parish Council web site
The village’s neighbourhood plan was discussed at a Cabinet member for housing and jobs meeting at Cheshire West and Chester Council headquarters, Chester, on Tuesday. 
The application was to designate Holmes Chapel Parish as Holmes Chapel Neighbourhood Area to allow them to develop their neighbourhood plan. 
It was resolved that approval be given and the designated area had been prepared in accordance with existing regulations.