Cheshire East Council housing plan 'inadequate', says inspector

Image caption Cheshire East Council aims to build 27,000 new homes by 2030

Cheshire East Council's "inadequate" housing plan could leave the area short of homes, an inspector said.

The local authority, which has already described itself as being "besieged" by property developers, has set a target of building 27,000 new homes by 2030.

But the inspector said the figure needed to be closer to 40,000. Cheadle MP Mark Hunter said the council's plans showed their "ineptitude".

Council leader Michael Jones said he was "concerned" about the findings.

The Conservative leader said: "The starting point for the plan was based in 2009, [when] policies and guidelines were all different.

"What we haven't done is listen and [hear] advice when they have changed and that's something I'm very concerned about and we will look into why that is.

"We are going to recheck our analysis, our methodology, our ideas, and see how we do from there to make sure our numbers are in line so we can get it right."

Liberal Democrat MP Mr Hunter spoke out in the Commons last week about the plans by the council to build about 2,000 new homes at Handforth, near Wilmslow.

He said the report, written by independent local government inspector Stephen Pratt, was critical in other areas.

"I think it shows in large measure the ineptitude of Cheshire East Council and the way they have gone about this.

"The report says there are 'significant flaws in both the process and evidence related to the release of land from the green belt'.

"I think that's a very critical verdict the inspector has come to and I think it's round one to the objectors."

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