CHESHIRE West and Chester Council needs to make progress with drawing up a Local Plan otherwise it will be at the ‘mercy’ of developers ‘picking us off one by one’.
That’s the view of Cllr John Grimshaw who spoke during Monday’s three-hour Local Development Framework Panel meeting, where it was agreed the blueprint should be considered by the council’s executive on August 2.
If approved, a lengthy public consultation would begin with a view to adopting the Local Plan by 2014.
The blueprint proposes a borough-wide housing requirement of 21,000 new homes by 2030, with 4,200 in rural areas including Farndon, Kelsall, Malpas, Tarporley, Tarvin and Tattenhall.
The council says a new Local Plan establishing housing targets is ‘vital’ if they are to have any chance of winning appeals against major developments it considered inappropriate when planning inspectors were still using ‘unrealistic’ Regional Spatial Strategy targets.
Cllr Grimshaw said: “We need a Local Plan to fight off proposed developments we do not want.”
At the meeting, Chester MP Stephen Mosley, along with residents and politicians of all parties, raised concerns at the possible development of 2,000 homes in the green belt.
Cllr Margaret Parker, chairman of the Local Development Framework Panel, said: “We need to make it quite clear this document is the basis for a long process of consultation.
“This is a two-year process ending in an examination in public. It is the start of a long journey, not the end of the road.
“We have simply recommended the document to the executive as a basis for consultation. No decisions have been taken and there are no site-specific proposals.”