Poynton Neighbourhood Plan
(FAQS can be accessed here and a separate Poynton Neighbourhood Plan website is now operational, and this contains both detailed information about the Plan, as well as a link to the online version of the Neighbourhood Plan Survey – go to www.poyntonnp.org.uk
Neighbourhood Plan Update
Our Neighbourhood Plan will influence the way in which Poynton develops from now until 2030. This Plan is distinct from Cheshire East Council's emerging Local Plan, which will govern development in the whole of Cheshire East in the same time period. Although our Neighbourhood Plan needs to comply with the Local Plan, it will nevertheless have legal force, and will need to be taken account of by planners, developers and landowners alike.
Our Neighbourhood Plan team comprises a group of volunteers and Town Councillors, and it has already undertaken two surveys among Poynton residents. It now needs to find out how residents in this specific younger age group want Poynton to develop over the next two decades. Views will be sought on issues such as housing, the Green Belt, health and wellbeing, infrastructure and local services, as well as the draft policy proposals intended to manage these.
An exhibition showing the current status of Poynton's Neighbourhood Plan took place at the Civic Hall in February, when a second survey was also made available for residents to complete. Some 500 people attended the exhibition, and over 200 kindly completed the survey, either on line or in hard copy. These further views, when fully analysed, will help inform the draft Neighbourhood Plan. It is also intended to garner further views from two focus groups that fully reflect Poynton's demographic, including in particular our younger residents and their families.
This second survey showed overwhelming support for the two main strands of the Neighbourhood Plan, namely those relating to housing and the Green Belt. 75% of those responding chose the "brownfield sites first" as their number 1 priority for housing development, while there was also general support for a mix of housing types, catering for the needs of our younger and older residents.
Not surprisingly those residents responding to the survey agreed strongly on those policies designed to manage and preserve the Green Belt that surrounds Poynton. Priority was given to preserving the character of Poynton and our open spaces, as well as enhancing the natural environment.
On other issues there was strong support shown for sports facilities and playing fields, as well as the need to press for the Poynton Relief Road to be built. Concern was expressed by many respondents about the planned sale and redevelopment of the Sports Club site. It is not within the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group's remit to express a view on this (or indeed on any other site proposed for development), rather it is incumbent upon the Sports Club and the developer to consult locally, and for our residents to provide their views at that stage.
The full results of the survey will be published on this page when available. It is intended to submit a two phase draft Neighbourhood Plan towards the end of this year. The first phase will be consistent and compliant with the existing Local Plan, which respects our existing Green Belt boundaries. It is likely however that a second phase of the Neighbourhood Plan will need to take into account some of the likely outcomes of the revised Cheshire East Local Plan, currently subject to further local consultation.
FAQs relating to the exhibition can be viewed or downloaded here. (*PDF)
*PDF documents require Adobe Reader to view them.
Poynton is a small town with a ‘village feel’ surrounded by open countryside which is protected as part of the North Cheshire Green Belt - this keeps our separate identity from other towns. Cheshire East Council is now finalising its future vision for the town over the two decades to 2030. No major developments for Poynton are proposed in the submitted version of the Cheshire East Local Plan, although there remains a proposal for the Poynton Relief Road. With your help we want to make Poynton an even better place both now and for future generations.
Following changes in planning over the last few years, the regional level has been abolished and in its place are Neighbourhood Plans prepared at a parish or town level. The Town Council wishes to engage with the local community to prepare such a plan for Poynton. This would in some respects replace the Parish Plan but would have a higher planning status.
The Neighbourhood Plan will set out our vision of the town for the period until 2030. It would allow local residents to exert more control over where development takes places within the town. It would seek to direct and influence the type and quality of new development as well as ensuring that where new development does take place, it meets local objectives and needs.
The plan would include policies and proposals for different types of development and land use. By not having a Neighbourhood Plan there is a risk of inappropriate and piecemeal developer-led planning proposals being submitted. Our Borough Council would then be forced into reactive responses to planning applications and then planning appeals and inquiries with decisions made by planning inspectors or ministers. By preparing a Neighbourhood Plan in parallel with the Local Plan, when approved, we hope that local control over planning in Poynton can be retained at town and borough level.
Poynton has a long history of active public engagement with the planning of the town. A Neighbourhood Plan will give local people the opportunity to influence the future character of the town, including where new houses, businesses and facilities should be placed and what they should look like. This provision has only been made available following the introduction of the Localism Act and the progress the Borough Council have now made with their strategic view of the future of the town. It would provide a genuine opportunity for residents to influence the future of the local environment in line with national policies. Uniquely, in planning law, a Neighbourhood Plan gives local people a vote through a local referendum on the plan and if it receives a majority vote in support from those who respond it becomes a full statutory plan. This would mean that developers would have to adhere to the Neighbourhood Plan in submitting their planning applications and to consult our community in meaningful ways.
The Town Council has been working with the adjacent communities of Adlington and Woodford to achieve an appropriate form of use including some redevelopment of the former BAE Systems site at Woodford. Both those communities are already substantially engaged in the preparation of Neighbourhood Plans for their areas, to respond to the challenges arising from the future extensive development of the aerodrome.
A Neighbourhood Plan cannot stop development as some limited development is always required to respond to changing circumstances and lifestyles. By engaging with local residents, the Plan will identify what changes or improvement the whole community wants. If you are interested in helping with the Plan, we would like to hear from you. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, T. 01625 872238, or complete the reverse of the flyer included in January’s Poynton Post.
For further information on Neighbourhood Plans use the contact details above or refer to the FAQs on this webpage.