Development of 10 townhouses planned for British Legion site

Jones Homes has announced its acquisition of the land and buildings located just off Station Road in Handforth that were formerly occupied by the Handforth branch of the Royal British Legion.

The home builder, which has a long standing presence in Handforth having developed a number of sites in the area, has submitted an application for the former Royal British Legion site which proposes 10 four bedroom townhouses with associated infrastructure and landscaping.

Jones Homes has already consulted with local councillors, Cheshire East planning department and the Friends of Handforth Station and says all parties are broadly supportive of the principle of developing this site for new homes.

Managing director at Jones Homes, Gary Hardy, commented: "We are delighted to have acquired this piece of land in Handforth and are keen to develop it with new, high quality homes. New build homes are in short supply in Cheshire. With a highly desirable and sustainable location next to the station, this unattractive piece of land is perfect for residential development and will appeal to a broad range of homebuyers including commuters, couples and families."

Jones Homes will ensure the plaque from the small British Legion memorial garden, that is no longer used, is removed and relocated to a more prominent location within Handforth. Initial ideas include incorporating this into a new garden at Handforth Station or relocating the plaque to the new memorial. Jones Homes would welcome further ideas in order to agree the most appropriate location.

For further information on this development, please call Jones Homes on 01625 588400 or visit

Where would you like to see the memorial garden plaque relocated to, share your ideas via the comment box below.

Image shows townhouses that are similar to those proposed for Station Road, Handforth.

Handforth British Legion, Jones Homes, Planning Applications


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Bill Deverell
Wednesday 16th March 2016 at 8:39 am
Does anybody know what is happening about the plaque/stone commemorating the Methodist chapel that was originally on this site?
Anthony Harrison
Wednesday 16th March 2016 at 12:17 pm
I believe thats the stone they are referring to in this article Bill. It has a lot of geographical significance but would be meaningless to move it off the site. As the licence holder for the new war memorial, I have not been approached about relocating it there and certainly wouldn't be an advocate for such a decision with my justification highlighted above. I have been campaigning the parish council clerk and councillors to have it incorporated into the outer side of the new development with a fitting blue cast iron heritage plaque placed next to it highlighting its history and significance but this is clearly being ignored. A case of misconception as to what it actually is I believe Bill.
Andrew Backhouse
Wednesday 16th March 2016 at 4:17 pm
No problem with the houses - though I think we are shorter of cheaper flats in Handforth given the price of houses....
What about access to the railway station platform via the Legion site? This is one of the really good potential wins from the site redevelopment - it is necessary in this day and age to have proper ramp access down the side of the road and on the platform behind the waiting shelter. This would be a great benefit to the whole community - those with push chairs, suitcases and the disabled, and to the developer's social responsibility credibility. And was the Legion there to help ex-servicemen? Plenty of them have been disabled, so here's hoping for mutual benefit from the redevelopment!
Clive Cooksey
Wednesday 16th March 2016 at 4:58 pm
Jones homes again? How come no other builder gets a look in round here. How is such a monopoly formed?
John Harries
Wednesday 16th March 2016 at 7:35 pm
Redevelopment of the site is inevitable and I've no issue with the fact that Jones' have acquired it. It is however a 'mystery' as to why this local organisation always appears to get a much bigger slice of the cake available.
I'm sure they will do a good job (and of course make a nice profit into the bargain…..but that's business).
My calculation of the development works out at 40 bedrooms plus whatever else comes with the building 10 'town houses'. If the smaller (established) Contour development on the opposite side of the bridge is anything to go off (it appears to be 6 single bedroom apartments but there were 7-8 cars parked there this evening) a significant increase in immediate local traffic can be anticipated.
The station is a well used local amenity but even as it stands the area is already an accident looking for something to happen (whether it be pedestrians, vehicles or both) and access is dire if not dangerous so improvements in general and specifically for wheelchair, pushchair and disabled users are a must-have obligation ahead of any other constructions.
The Station Road bridge is a 'blind rise' in both directions; on the village side of the bridge is the above mentioned Contour housing and access thereto, opposite to which is the hidden junction with (exit only/uphill sloped) Church Road!! The proposed Jones' development on the far side of the bridge could increase immediate local traffic up to 7/8 fold plus there will be other services like refuse etc. requiring access.
Some of the RBL site has to be made over to benefit general road safety and improved access of rail users (and we locals if you must).
Planners have an obligation NOW to see this is done right……...and Jones' will just have to take a bit of hit on the profits for the privilege of procuring this prime site.
Terry Roeves
Wednesday 16th March 2016 at 7:40 pm
But will they ever be built? Coppice Way Handforth is for future development, thus states the Jones Homes site hoarding.
What about the housing shortage? Government and media keep telling us it's a crisis.
Just doesn't equate to the "objectively assessed" increases required in the north of the borough, stated in the Local Plan. Land banking rules, not housing.
Someone who understands these things might like unconfuse me please.
Carole Burton
Wednesday 16th March 2016 at 8:31 pm
This is very near us. It'll be smarter than the current dump but seems like too many houses for that land size. Always Jones......
Thursday 17th March 2016 at 3:38 pm
Looking at the picture my first thought was that visually they don't look too bad. Not as aesthetically pleasing as the townhouses currently being built in Knutsford but not flat - roofed and they have garages. Then I read the information. The picture shows 4. How on earth do they fit 10 onto the site? Are they "back to back"? That would still only give 8. Also they are only single garages so there will be a lot of parking in front of these. Also that metal gate in the middle is a recipe for trouble. Can you imagine the amount of litter that is going to be thrown through there, just like the alleyways remaining in the old part of Macclesfield.
John Harries
Thursday 17th March 2016 at 7:00 pm
……and whilst the planners are at it (Andrew Backhouse touched on the thought) there should be some 'affordable' accommodation included in the overall scheme (and why not in part for ex. service personnel).
Jones' projecting some civic responsibility has a nice ring to it!!
Jon Armstrong
Friday 18th March 2016 at 11:15 am
If Network Rail wanted to improve access to the station they could have bought the land, but didn't. If the RBL wanted to provide houses for ex servicemen or something similar, they could have done this with the land, but didn't. Instead they chose to sell up and bank the money -- presumably they feel they can do more good with the money than the asset. I really don't think it's up to Jones or any other developer to provide things that those with greater responsibility choose not to fund.

Also, I don't think 10 houses is particularly excessive. The plot looks to be approx 40m by 60m, and you can find many areas in Wilmslow, Handforth and Alderley where houses are at a similar or greater density, especially when there isn't much in the way of gardens as here.
John Harries
Friday 18th March 2016 at 12:02 pm
Mr. Armstrong. If you read the description it's 40 bedrooms (=10 townhouses whatever that means)!!
I'm not sure of the Contour property configuration on the other side of the bridge but if they are 6 single bedroom apartments there appears to be at least 20% more cars in use there than there are bedrooms i.e. a single bedroom could mean at least 2 cars.
I don't think you will find many developments like this proposal (and I personally believe it is dense occupation) so close to and on both sides of a busy (and likely to get much busier) humped backed bridge.
I don't know what RBL did regards the sale (nor do I know what they will do with the proceeds) but if I recall correctly they didn't have enough funds to even fix the roof (let alone develop a building project), sadly that's why they have packed up!
It's the planners that have the obligation to approve a safe, worthy site. Affordable (social housing if you must) should form a proportional part of any substantial private housing initiative but developers (like Jones') somehow find ways around it (maximising their returns) and that is down to planners making 'grey' decisions. Jones' need to be told they must trade-off some of the profit in return for safe access for road users, residents and passengers.
Your argument appears to take the view that perhaps Network Rail should move the station to make the area safer for new housing - crass.
If it's Jones' who eventually build on the site I support that - but (for the reasons laid out previously) not for them to trouser the absolute maximum profit in the process.
Jon Armstrong
Friday 18th March 2016 at 12:46 pm
Strange how you criticize me for not reading the article but then immediately demonstrate you didn't read my comment.

I made no suggestion that Network Rail move the station, crass or otherwise. I suggested they could have bought land "improve access to the station", as it was clearly available for purchase. Using this, they could have moved the entrance to the station and/or provided access to the platform level without having to use the existing steep staircase and/or provided parking that isn't on top of a humped back bridge. Then, the entrance to the station would be off the main road, just like it is at Wilmslow or Alderley or any number of other stations, and much safer for passengers and road users alike. It's the position of the station entrance causing a lot of the issues you describe, and yet many here seem to want to push the cost and responsibility for solving it onto Jones or others. Why do you absolve the rail operators of responsibility for "safe access for road users, residents and passengers"?

And yes, I did read that they are 4 bedroom houses. The picture shows they have three floors so take up a smaller footprint than a house with two floors. The picture also shows there is clearly off street parking for two cars per house.
John Harries
Friday 18th March 2016 at 9:49 pm
It's the new housing proposal that is creating an issue (in my mind anyway), not the pre-existing railway facility which, due to what has evolved around it, is the nub of what I feel could be a seriously failing situation!
We both seem to agree that the proposal is as good as it might get for regeneration of the site; it's the scope of the proposal that is the argument.
You appeared to support the proposal just as it was announced, I cannot agree.
Using my empirical numbers gleaned from the Contour site (6 x 1 bedroom apartments?) it is quite possible that 10 x 4 bedroomed town houses could generate up to 80 'extra' vehicles accessing Station Road at a very dangerous point (lets ignore the risible 2 parking slots per property which may well be the 'minimum' to satisfy current planning guidelines).
Jones' obviously wanted the site, they (speculatively) purchased it and I'm hoping to stimulate some groundswell support for sensible considerations to be taken in to account. For all you or I know the planners might well send Jones' first proposals into the long grass - good say I.
If not then I urge readers, rail and road users (many of whom will be local voters) to start pressurising for changes along the lines I've outlined, they know it makes sense.
Alasdair Carmichael
Monday 21st March 2016 at 2:38 am
A town house is a single family dwelling with, in this case, 4 bedrooms. I think it very unlikely that a single family dwelling would have 8 cars! Whereas 6 - 1 bedroom apartments could possibly, but unlikely, have 2 cars per unit. So I think your projection for parking requirement of the potential Jones development is unrealistic.

Cheshire East will make sure that they get their pound of flesh from Jones if they grant planning permission.

The development seems like an excellent upgrade of a run down brown field site. The general negativity in other comments towards Jones is a little difficult to understand, here we have a local company that has been extremely successful within the UK and also internationally and all people can do is complain about "Why Jones?" If it was a builder from out of the area people would complain "Why isn't a local builder getting a chance?"