by Iain Roberts on 16 November, 2015
Thousands of new houses are coming to Cheshire East … the question is how we deal with the traffic.
Cheshire East Council are working on their “local plan” that sets out how many houses they’ll allocate to different parts of the county. The Government has set requirements which mean Cheshire East have no choice but to allow thousands more houses to be built. Their current plan will see hundreds of new houses between Poynton and Woodford, over 2,000 around Handforth Dean and hundreds more north of Wilmslow, meaning the best part of 4,000 new houses near the Stockport boundary over the coming years.
Cheshire East is also looking to expand the Handforth Dean shopping area, leading to even more traffic up and down the A34. We’ve objected to the proposals, but we don’t hold much hope of being listened to.
The main route from those houses into Manchester is of course up the A34 through Cheadle and Gatley.
For more than two years, the Lib Dems have been challenging Cheshire East Council to explain how they will work with us to deal with all the extra traffic. For all that time, they’ve refused, claiming that 4,000 new homes won’t cause much of a problem!
We are now concerned because the Government are putting pressure on the planning inspectors to pass local plans. Previously the inspector threw out Cheshire East’s plan, in part because they hadn’t addressed the traffic issues. We hope that the plan won’t be passed by the inspector, but it’s possible that because of the pressure from government it will be pushed through anyway.
The Lib Dems will continue to stand up to Cheshire East Council and demand that the effects of all the extra traffic are mitigated.
If that means money to sort out the Kingsway junction (and it’s hard to see how any traffic plan could avoid sorting out the Kingsway/Gatley Road junction and still work) then that’s what we need to happen.
Stockport have a similar issue – we are required by the Government to build lots more homes, and exactly how many more will be worked out over the next couple of years as part of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework. The question for Stockport is the same: not whether we want the homes or not (we’re going to get them) but where they should be built and how we deal with the traffic and the extra pressure on schools and medical centres. Thankfully, the Lib Dems in Stockport aren’t burying our heads in the sand over those issues – we’re working hard to find the best solutions to benefit our area.18 Comments