RESIDENTS near green belt land earmarked for possible development on the outskirts of Chester are urged to write to their local councillor.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) is worried about a council study showing 5,000 acres of development parcelled up into 10 green field areas including south of Lache, Duke’s Drive, north of Blacon, Boughton Heath, Piper’s Ash and Upton.
The study will be finalised after Cheshire West and Chester Council has decided whether to go for low, moderate or high economic growth at a meeting on July 23.
CWaC has already expressed an ambition to grow the regional economy by at least £10 billion – creating more than 20,000 jobs – and increase the local population by 100,000 by 2030.
Ann Jones of Chester CPRE said previously developed ‘brown field’ sites should be the first port of call for future employment and housing land.
She said: “We recognise the need for more houses and jobs across the whole borough – but they’ve got to get the locations right so that we get most public benefit and least environmental damage.
“It’s important not to set targets we can’t meet. The option the council describes as ‘moderate growth’ would actually be well in excess of the highest rate of house building the area has ever seen.
“If the council then fails to meet its own targets, it will be forced to allocate land and grant permission for building in unsustainable and inappropriate places, on green fields and in the countryside.”
And the CPRE campaigner disagrees with the council approach of focusing all future growth on Chester, saying it should be distributed ‘more evenly’ across the district.
Mrs Jones, who urges concerned residents to write to their councillor, added: “The green belt has played a vital role in driving investment and development to the most suitable places for many years, and we just can’t afford to change that approach now.”