The Leader of Cheshire East Council, Councillor Michael Jones, has hit back at recent comments – see report on AudlemOnline on Sunday, 'Another Planning setback' – made by a Planning Inspector over the authority's 5-year supply of housing.
He said: "This is just further example of the nonsensical and inconsistent decision-making being executed within the Planning Inspectorate at this current time.
"In October, a Planning Inspector's decision stated that we had a 4.3 year supply including the need for a 20 per cent buffer. More recently we have had an Inspector's decision that we need only a 5 per cent buffer.
"Since October we have added many thousands of houses and permissions and I find it staggering that this Inspector can be so cavalier in saying we have not got a 5-year supply. While the timing of the appeal did not allow the Council's full updated evidence case to be presented the lack of consistency of approach is immensely frustrating.
"We have more appeals to defend in the future and on all of these we will provide a fully evidenced assessment including the National Planning Policy Guidance to ensure we are compliant.
"What is disappointing is that this Inspector seemed determined to listen to developers who have a vested interest in profit rather than the Council who have a people interest and who are committed to Cheshire East's environment. It is most disappointing that the Inspector has backed developers and their vested interest.
"Cheshire East Council will now be exploring all options to defend the best interest of its residents. We expect similar decisions until we get an Inspector to review our evidence properly."
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