MUCH has been written about the excessive influence that developers hold over planning applications in the absence of a Local Plan and a five-year supply of housing.

As well as the number and locality, planning applications determine the type of house being built.

The type of house determines who is interested in purchasing it and is as important to the wellbeing of the town as the other two factors.

Developers, I presume make more profit from detached four bedroom than two bedroom semis. This could be why we see so many of the former in housing applications in Cheshire East and elsewhere.

Many people cannot easily find properties close to where they work that they can comfortably afford, even with joint incomes and the present low mortgage interest rates. The expectation that interest rates will rise makes this issue even more important.

If there were a wider variety of houses available within future estates, this would encourage people to live and work closer together and thus help to reduce commuting. It would also help to develop a greater sense of community within these estates and enhance their connections to each other and the centre of the town. In addition, lower priced houses would make it easier for pensioners and others to downsize while remaining in their locality and releasing funds for other activities.

Local Neighbourhood Plans, that give communities more sway over what planning applications are acceptable in their area, best address this issue.

Dr Peter Hirst Address supplied