Handforth councillor says despite the 'fancy name' no-one will want to live in Garden Village


A Handforth councillor has criticised the government's decision to back the plans to create a new garden village on the eastern edge of Handforth and says the site will prove unattractive to both developers and residents.

As previously reported, the government gave their backing on Monday, 2nd January, for 14 new garden villages including the North Cheshire Garden Village. The controversial scheme for up to 1650 new homes, community facilities and space for new businesses will be located on Green Belt land near to Handforth Dean, between the A555 and the A34.

Councillor Barry Burkhill told wilmslow.co.uk "The Government can provide funds for attracting developers to build this North Cheshire Garden Village in the important strategic greenbelt between Handforth and Stockport but breaking the boundaries between us and Greater Manchester with this bribe and calling it by a fancy name is not going to encourage developers to build if they cannot sell the houses.

"Who is going to buy a house which takes them two or three hours to reach from work in the evening after a similar journey in the morning? Who is going to buy or live in a house which, due to the traffic pollution of the atmosphere, will increase their chances of getting Alzheimer's disease?

"This is the scenario today without these 1500 houses, which seem to have passed the inspector without any comment in his interim letter of 13th December. Do the ruling group on CEC not realise that building houses in this strategic greenbelt will lead to the loss of Handforth, Wilmslow, Poynton and perhaps other northern towns, into Greater Manchester, to which the new cross border Parliamentary Constituency is pointing?"

Councillor Burkhill added "Developers do not want to build on this area of greenbelt because of the uncertainty of building houses which don't sell, at least not to homeowners who will look after their properties and the surrounding environment.

"There has been a huge amount of opposition to both this site and site CS 49* in the CEC ruling group's Local Plan Submission but the inspector seems to have ignored all the voices and hundreds of letters of opposition and warnings of traffic chaos making Handforth residents' lives a misery in order to provide money for the Congleton By-Pass. Has this funding been known for some time in Government circles and by the inspector so that he is obliged to pass it in the Local Plan?

"The result in people's minds is, what is the point of consulting the public if they are to be ignored? Is it any wonder that the public then lash out at the establishment when they get the chance!"

*CS 49 - Land between Clay Lane and Sagers Road which has been identified in the Local Plan for a development of 250 new homes.

What do you think of plans to build a new garden village off the A34 Handforth bypass? Share your views via the comment box below.

North Cheshire Garden Village


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

Seb James
Thursday 5th January 2017 at 1:54 pm
Sorry but why on earth would there be a 2 or 3 hour commute for those who want to live there? What about those who are looking for a house South of Manchester with easy commuting connections?

I'm very interested in the development! Where do I sign up for more info?!
Thursday 5th January 2017 at 3:19 pm
Seb - just to say I commuted for many years between Wilmslow and Didsbury. At first the problem was the "Cheadle Crawl", namely - fine until you hit the traffic jams in Cheadle. Bit by bit over the years the tailbacks got longer and stretched to Handforth Dean. In the end I settled for leaving the house at 7.20 am. That was the only way I could be guaranteed to be in Didsbury by 9 a.m. In the evening it was easier to stay at work until 7 pm than travel home because the congestion was so bad.
Fiona Doorbar
Thursday 5th January 2017 at 4:39 pm
I used to work on the Cheadle Royal Park and had my working hours amended as trying to get there for a 9-5 role was near on impossible..... fortunately for me I had a flexible boss and managed to dodge the chaos by working 7.30 till 3.30. I can only imagine it's a lot worse now , not better!
Alan Brough
Thursday 5th January 2017 at 5:14 pm
Elsewhere on wilmslow.co.uk we learn that Macclesfield Hospital is appealing for people only to attend Accident & Emergency if absolutely necessary as they are operating well over capacity.

Let's build another 1500 or so houses...... what could possibly go wrong?
Jon Armstrong
Thursday 5th January 2017 at 5:31 pm
"Sorry but why on earth would there be a 2 or 3 hour commute for those who want to live there?"

There won't be. But as so often happens, those opposed to things make it easy for their objections to be ignored due to exaggerated and hysterical claims that detract from any sound evidence-based points they may have.
Simon Worthington
Friday 6th January 2017 at 9:46 am
There will probably never be a metrolink (perceived wealthy area), nowhere near a railway station, too dangerous to cycle, few jobs within walking distance (previous 2,500 jobs at Woodford a fond memory) unless they all want to be shop assistants on the retail park, no high school nearby, a few new shops with exhorbitant rent and rates which will never survive in a dormitory village. Several thousand vehicle movements a day in a congested area.
Sorry for the hysterical claims but physiology makes that impossible!!!
Jon Armstrong
Friday 6th January 2017 at 10:24 am
It's less than a mile to Handforth railway station. That's probably nearer to a railway station than 99% of the UK population live, and too far only for the very old, infirm or terminally lazy.

Why is cycling too dangerous? Clearly it would be foolish to cycle up the A34, but there are many other roads and cycle ways.

Bramhall High School isn't very far away at all. Yes, I know it is in Stockport Borough, but we have to stop being so parochial about where the boundaries are to find solutions in a changing world.

And the whole dormitory town / village thing... Wilmslow, Alderley and Handforth have been dormitory towns for 150 years. If you have an issue with that you are closing the stable door long after the horse has bolted.
Graham Peters
Friday 6th January 2017 at 12:07 pm
I think Mr Barry Burkill needs to wake up - all the new and so called 'affordable' housing gets snapped up. The developers will be rubbing their hands at this - the bottleneck will be the road structure around this area. Hopefully the new improvements at the M&S / Tesco roundabout (which seem to be taking an age) will ease traffic, only to throw the problem up to the Gatley lights!
Monday 9th January 2017 at 6:32 pm
Jon - you are correct, - Bramhall High is accessible and so is Cheadle Hulme High, - but then again your chances of getting anyone into Woods Lane who lives outside Stockport is remote.
Graham Shaw
Thursday 12th January 2017 at 9:41 am
Seb and Jon I can only suggest that you spend a week travelling up and down the A34 around peak times and see for yourself how long it takes you get from Wilmslow to the M60 and beyond. The road is a nightmare and will only get worse.

Commute times of 2 hours are not exaggerated - my friend no longer wishes to work at our company in Chesterton (just inside the Staffs border) as his commute home to Reddish, Stockport was taking him 1 3/4 hours for a journey of 34 miles.
Jon Armstrong
Monday 16th January 2017 at 11:28 am
If the roads are a nightmare it is because so many people's obsession with using their cars all the time for every journey no matter what.

You see it all the time in what people reveal in the comments they make... Thinking that less than a mile away is a completely unacceptable distance to go to a railway station, saying that four trains an hour isn't a regular enough service, complaining that places pitifully short distances from where they live aren't served by good parking or that the roads are congested. It never seems to occur to them that THEY are a significant part of the problem. They think what they are doing is fine, but other people doing the exact same thing is completely unacceptable. It's all just excuses to continue doing what they want the same old way they've always done.

If you walk around Wilmslow you see it all the time. I regularly see one man pull out of where he lives, drive all of about 400m and then park up to take his dog for a walk. Another man in a car that passes me going down Wilmslow Park Road many mornings often passes me again going back the other way before I've even got to the end of the road. Whatever he's doing can't be more than getting a paper or a bottle of milk, but it never seems to occur to him to take a 10 minute walk and get some exercise. Everyone will see loads of examples of this where they live.

The world has changed. We can't go on as we did in the past. We need to burn fewer fossil fuels. We need to exercise and look after our health. We need deal with the fact there are more people who need somewhere to live and need to go to work and do the same things we do. Everyone needs to change as part of this.