THE creation of new housing in Cheadle has been thrown into disarray after a Government inspector stated that planned development to the north east side of the town is “not justified”.
A public inquiry into the core strategy for the Staffordshire Moorlands, which could see more than 1,000 houses built in Cheadle up until 2026, was held last month.
Inspector Patrick Whitehead had been appointed by the Secretary of State to stage the inquiry, which will effect how the whole Moorlands area is developed.
The main part of the hearing was centred around the allocation of housing for Cheadle.
Staffordshire Moorlands District Council had proposed a broad location to extend the urban area at the north and north east of the town by constructing 400 homes.
Proposals would also see around 440 homes built within the urban area, while 100 would be allowed for small sites and 200 for small urban expansion.
Now an interim report of the inquiry has just been released by Mr Whitehead.
He said: “The proposed extension to the north east of Cheadle is not justified by the evidence. Even allowing for a new school it scores poorly.
"However, indication from the county council are that, even with the amount of housing proposed, there is no certainty that a new primary school would be justified.
“In these circumstances there appears no justification in retaining it. However, its deletion will leave a deficit in housing allocations and the council will be faced with reinstating at least one of the areas previously included in the submission document.”
But the leader of Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, Councillor Sybil Ralphs, told the Post & Times this week that her authority was not going to look for any alternative major housing sites in Cheadle.
She said: “I am comfortable with the inspector’s report. I have said publicly that in my opinion no new major housing development should take place in Cheadle until the road infrastructure has been addressed.
“We will not be looking for any other major sites as there are alternative ways of finding this provision.” Cheadle mayor Margaret Locker said the town council is now awaiting the reply to the inspector’s report from its district counterpart.
She said: “It looks like the inspector has listened to the people of the north east of Cheadle.
“The red herring of a school has been seen by the inspector. All the schools are on the south side of the Cheadle.
"The road infrastructure would not cope with all the additional traffic which would have to come through the centre of the town."
Since the Moorlands council announced the north and north east side of the town were to be included as a broad location for housing, the proposals were met with fierce opposition by residents who set up an action group to fight the plans.