Local residents voted to approve the Tattenhall and District Neighbourhood Plan by 905 votes to 38 in a referendum held on Thursday. The turnout of 51.86% of eligible voters was the highest yet recorded for a neighbourhood plan vote.
However, the plan is subject to a judicial review challenge and Cheshire West and Cheshire Council will not be able to formally adopt it until the High Court has determined that challenge.
The claim has been brought by housebuilders Barratt Homes and Wainhomes on the ground that the plan is technically flawed and to question the impartiality of the examiner of the plan, who was a non-executive director of a land company promoting an urban extension at Hoole Gate in Chester at the time of the examination.
The plan's policies, which oppose "large scale, inappropriate development" along existing village boundaries, include support for housing developments of up to 30 homes only in such areas. Barratt and Wainhomes have applied to build 68 and 137 homes respectively on land in Tattenhall.
If the challenge is successful, the plan could need to undergo another examination followed by a new referendum if approved.
Council leader Mick Jones said in a statement that the referendum result was a "ringing endorsement" of the "tremendous" work and commitment shown by the local community. “The legal challenge is extremely disappointing but the authority will strongly contest the claimant’s allegations which, we believe, are without foundation,” he added.