It has been a little quiet on the planning front for a bit now. According to the Parish Council (PC) Chair Ron Pulford, it’s been a year since the village ‘welcomed’ an application to build another 15, or so homes. Since 2010 the village has seen the addition of 100 new homes. The developments include Tweddle Close, Oak Gardens, the Outspan and The Grange as either built or building. To come are Bowes Gate, Hill Close, the sites off Oak Gardens and Bunbury Lane, behind the retirement homes, and next to the medical Centre. All of these sites are within the maximum size of 15 dwellings specified in the Neighbourhood Plan (NP). That last point is something of a victory for the NP. In the same period plans to build 52 houses behind Bunbury Lane (west side) and 36 house on the Hill Close site have been rejected after going to appeal.
The original target for Bunbury was to provide room for at least 80 dwellings. This was allocated in the previous Cheshire East (CE) Local Plan and came as a result of the village being designated a Local Service Centre. That allocation is now under review as the authority has a new Local Plan. Cheshire East has to deliver around 39,000 homes by 2030. It has the sites, and some, to do that. But what we would like to know is what its plans are for Bunbury.
In a few weeks time we will see the new allocations part of the consultation process. By late summer that will be finalised and agreed. Early, and I stress informal comments, suggest that Bunbury is seen as having ‘done its bit’ and no further allocations will be made in this planning cycle (2010-2030). If that becomes reality then it is great news for the village. Of course small one-off developments (called ‘windfalls’ in planning jargon) will continue. However larger scale developments, should be a thing of the past at least until after 2030. It may be that some developers will try their luck but the balance of probability they will succeed is firmly against them if CE does as we hope and not allocate further development to Bunbury.