Residents 'threatened by a new road in their back gardens'

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Some local residents are objecting to Royal London's plans for a new access road off Alderley Road to serve land to the north of their campus because it will run close to their properties.

The proposed scheme will be part permanent and part temporary together with the provision of a temporary staff and contractor car park for a maximum period of 3 years, a temporary construction compound and associated landscaping works.

In the new Cheshire East Local Plan, which was adopted on 27th July 2017, the Royal London site (LPS 54) - including land west of Alderley Road - is allocated for mixed use development - including offices, a hotel, residential development, pedestrian and cycle links.

The proposal will provide access and parking for construction traffic and office employees during the construction of the new office development - providing 316 car spaces to ensure sufficient staff car parking is maintained on site during the build period.

The proposed site has no direct vehicle access and sits to the north of the existing Royal London campus. It is not within the green belt or within a conservation area.

The site would be accessed via a new entrance point off Alderley Road between Fulshaw Gate and the existing residential properties. The access road will run on the northern side of the existing bungalow, in an east-west direction. On the access road two spurs are proposed to provide access to the north and the existing campus to the south.

A resident of Whitehall Close said "I object strongly to the application for a new access road into the LP site54 from the east of Alderley Road. There is no reason to site the road so close to existing residential properties on Whitehall close . In my case the new road will be sited just yards away from my boundary wall with associated traffic pollution noise and vibration."

Whilst a resident of Harefield Drive objected on the grounds that "This application impacts on a major highway where there is a history of accidental death caused by a road traffic accident."

A resident of Fulshaw Gate contacted to say "I am affected as the only house that fronts to Alderley Road and isn't owned by Royal London. Residents of local roads are threatened by a new road in their back gardens."

He added "Our property is the only parcel of land not owned by Royal London within the boundaries of their Campus Development Framework. In our comments on that in July, we specifically asked to be consulted. Now, without speaking with us, they have sought Planning Permission 17/4469m to construct a new road and change Alderley Road to give access with a deadline in October for comments.

"Over the more than 40 years we have been here Royal London has bought up all the land around us – most immediately the next door bungalow which was gobbled up last spring."

Royal London is seeking permanent permission for the first 155 metre section of access road, to serve their campus along with temporary consent for the section that continues east from this point, together with a 316 space temporary car park.

The access is being proposed to serve two functions. In the short term, the access would serve the temporary car park that would be linked to the existing Royal London campus whilst the new office building is under construction and it would also serve as the construction access for construction vehicles. In the long term, the access would serve as a permanent access to future development on the site, in line with the the Local Plan.

The plans can be viewed on the Cheshire East Council website by searching for planning reference 17/4469M. The late date for submitting comments is 19th October and a decision is expected by 30th November.

Alderley Road, Planning Applications, Royal London


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

Rod Menlove
Wednesday 27th September 2017 at 5:36 pm
Over 3 weeks ago, residents who had received the mailing from HOW Planning on behalf of Royal London, contacted me as the Ward councillor. I share their concerns on the safety issues of a new road in to Alderley Road so close to the roundabout. The negative impacts on the residents of Whitehall Close are self evident and I sympathise with their situation.
To ensure that all local residents were made aware of the proposal and could make their own voices heard, I then hand delivered a letter to all houses in Holly Road South and the roads off. I have offered to update residents as matters unfold and a number have given their email addresses to this purpose. Additionally, we have had email 'conversations' as well as face to face discussions.
This planning application is allocated to be decided by the Case Officer. This I find totally unacceptable so will put in a call-in request for the application to be considered by the Northern Planning Committee (NPC).
My position is, therefore, that Royal London needs to revisit and rethink about adapting existing roads to the site rather than building a new road.
Nick Jones
Wednesday 27th September 2017 at 5:51 pm
"I have worked closely with the town council over the years to counter threats to the local Green Belt – something I will continue to do…… I have publicly opposed any housing on the Royal London site…”

Apparently not. You are the problem not the cure !
Roger Bagguley
Wednesday 27th September 2017 at 6:12 pm
Time and time again RoW has stated any access to the RL site should be from the A34. Development here is not just about the needs of RL but of Wilmslow as a whole. There is talk of an enlarged Wilmslow High School but access is a problem. Current problems here are all about parking both on site and on the streets around the school. The emerging Wilmslow Neighbourhood Plan calls for a reduction of traffic in the town centre and for a prestigious entrance into Wilmslow along Alderley Road. This proposed new access addresses non of these issues only serving to increase the volume of traffic in the town centre, increase the numbers of vehicles stationary along Alderley Road both potentially pushing up air pollution levels well above acceptable threshold. There has to be serious concern for people living close to this proposed access and for people who will populate the houses being proposed on both sides of Alderley Road. Perhaps this is why this week we read two Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) are called for on behalf of developers. Potential game changers

It is time this council did some joined up thinking, start planning for a sustainable future for this site and for Wilmslow as a whole. Moving the access to the whole site as suggested will remove traffic from the town centre and from along Alderley Road with resulting reductions in air pollution levels and will provide for an extended school resolving current and future parking issues for all.

Time for CEC to get a grip, take control of what is being planned for the Royal London site and make best advantage of what is on offer here for Wilmslow and the people who live here both now and in the future.
Bob Bracegirdle
Wednesday 27th September 2017 at 6:58 pm
You've got some money. They have lots. Calculate result.
Pete Taylor
Wednesday 27th September 2017 at 7:53 pm
Minutes of a meeting of the
held on Friday, 28th February, 2014 at Crewe Alexandra
Football Club,
Gresty Road, Crewe, CW2 6EB

The following amendment was proposed and seconded :-
Cllr M Murphy proposed an amendment, which was seconded by Cllr
Brickhill as follows:-
“That the following strategic sites be deleted from the Cheshire East Local
Plan Strategy:-
CS26 – Royal London, Wilmslow
CS27 – Wilmslow Business Park
CS30 – Handforth East Growth Village
CS34 – (Safeguarded) Handforth East Growth Village
CS35 - (Safeguarded) Prestbury Road, Wilmslow
CS36 - (Safeguarded) Upcast Lane, Wilmslow
CS7 – Shavington East”

Councillors C Andrew, Rachel Bailey, Rhoda Bailey, A
Barratt, G Barton,
G Baxendale, D Bebbington, D Brown, L Brown, S Carter, J C
H Davenport, R Domleo, D Druce, K Edwards, I Faseyi, J
P Findlow, S
Gardiner, L Gilbert, P Groves, J Hammond, M Hardy,
A Harewood,
O Hunter, J Jackson, F Keegan, A Kolker,J Macrae, A M
artin, M Martin,
P Mason, R Menlove, G Merry, B Moran, P Raynes, M
Simon,L Smetham, C Thorley, A Thwaite, D Topping, G Wa
G M Walton, M J Weatherill, P Whiteley, J Wray.

Memory loss, Councillors?
Nick Jones
Wednesday 27th September 2017 at 10:35 pm
Not the first time the Wilmslow 4 and other cllrs have engaged in duplicitious behavior under the pretence of being concerned about green belt then voting to destroy it... I wont list them all here.. But Its just a little condescending to now pretend to have a concern over above issue when that cannot be the case ( evidenced above )

“Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.” George Orwell, 1984

Fortunately , although CEC and its Cllrs has descended into farce and deceit, not unlike an Orwellian Distopia, back in the real world the electorate hold great value in the meaning of truth and integrity.
Martin Duguid
Wednesday 27th September 2017 at 10:51 pm
This proposal is complete nonsense, will increase congestion and pollution on Alderley Road, benefit nobody and harm quite a few. Royal London should be obliged to create any new entrance temporary or otherwise from the A34. Waken up Cheshire East.
Dave Cash
Thursday 28th September 2017 at 3:19 am
CEC already knows that RL has no respect for temp car park planning permission.
RL proposed planning permissions for the site (5yrs?) should be considered in entirety, not individually. Even the Russians/Chinese are capable of drawing up a 5 yr Plan.
Compared to Waters is RL still Wilmslow's key employer?
Thursday 28th September 2017 at 8:33 am
Another example of Cheshire East not coming clean about their intentions. As early as 2014 in the Submission Version of the Local Plan in the comments section Royal London make it clear that Cheshire East had been in discussions with them since 2012. By 2017 version of Local Plan it references a new access point - BUT - not to this side - rather to the Western side of the land which was the new parcel. Then in the "consultation" on Royal London a new access off Alderley road to the Eastern side appeared. Was the new access road in the consultation the same "access road" which has now become this "temporary access"? If so, do we bekieve it is a "temporary access"?
Manuel Golding
Thursday 28th September 2017 at 11:44 am
Over the past 5 years or so, Residents of Wilmslow has sort answers from CEC about its and Royal London's (joint) agenda; never had a satisfactory answer from CE about their joint intentions for destroying the Green Belt that Royal London happily purchased years ago which made it the guardian of that Green Belt. But then big, mega big, money reared its head before the RL fund managers. They saw mega£ bonuses should they achieve planning. In other words, convert the Green Belt site & the opposite field to big fund managers' bonuses.
We then endure multi "temporary" apps, which later are ignored as the "temp" runs out; then another "temp" which later becomes permanent. Now another misrepresentation of the intent with app 17/4469M for a "temporary" road for contractors' heavy ordnance which in time will morph into a permanent structure.
But that us not the end of the HOW Planning & Royal London's deceitful tactics. They have submitted numerous apps for this site, 17/4469M/17/4342M/17/4832S (hgave I missed any?). The first two are for proposed "Delegated" decisions i.e. by a Case Officer, not by the Northern Planning Committee. RoW supports the ward councillor in requesting these apps go before the NPC.
RoW says the Council's relevant planning committee must look at the RL (HOW Planning) apps as a whole, not as individual, unrelated applications. Divide and rule seems to be the applicant's strategy.
RoW fully sympathises with the Fulshaw Gate residents and those on Whitehall Close in that RL & HOW has either not consulted or ignored their real concerns whilst telling us that their development will maintain & enhance the ambience of Alderley Road intro to Wilmslow.
Who do they think they are kidding?
If they really are concerted to maintain that green entrance/exit to/from Wilmslow they & CEC really must look seriously at the RoW A34 site entrance. We know it makes more than good sense and will put such traffic where it belongs on the by-pass (Read RoWs Roger Bagguley's comments above),
Stuart Kinsey
Sunday 1st October 2017 at 11:16 am
It is wrong to focus our concerns over planning application 17/4469M on residents of Whitehall Close & Harefield Drive or even the Royal London neighbours on Alderley Road. They are not the only ones that are 'threatened by a new road in their back gardens'. Many residents in Wilmslow and many in Alderley Edge will be adversely affected if the Royal London proposal is granted permission to proceed. All users of Alderley Road between the King's Arms roundabout & the A34 at Whitehall Brook / Fulshaw Park, should take note. They should submit their comments to Cheshire East Council, preferably via the planning web site. (enter application ref 17/4469M & select "list")

The detrimental impact of the proposal will include:
• further traffic delays both during construction and ongoing
• increased risk of accident
• more air pollution from increased traffic and longer queues leading to a reduction in air quality
• removal of mature trees (also leading to a reduction in air quality)
• a significant adverse impact on the visual ambience of one of the major routes into & out of Wilmslow

The number of current planning applications in hand for the Royal London site warrants independent scrutiny and explanation. I understand that the Ward Councillor asked that application 17/3747M be called in for consideration by Committee, not dealt with under delegated authority, irrespective of the "reserved matters" status. It is still registered as decision by delegated authority. The application is significantly different from that for which outline permission was granted and it triggers the criteria (detailed in CEC's own guidance) which justify an application being "called in":
• issues relating to highways, including access/visibility problems,
• the design, scale, character and/or relationship of existing buildings and proposed buildings,
• the effect of the proposal upon the character or amenity of adjoining land and buildings and/or the impact on the surrounding area, (such as pollution)

The application for the so called temporary access etc can only be considered as part of the aforementioned application. The application for screening likewise; yet they are separate applications. Environmental Impact Assessments are to be carried out, but is permission being sought for the developments without them. What are the Royal London agents up to? The relevant planning committee must look at the Royal London applications as a whole, as continuous development, not as separate applications. How can sound decisions be made piecemeal without full details of the ultimate scheme? If the original outline layout is adhered to then the so called temporary application refers entirely to the wrong area. In any event the development of the Royal London site requires radical solutions on infrastructure and implementation of improvements to roads (e.g. suggested access directly off the A34) and improved traffic flow before final approvals are granted for the site. Indeed this is a requirement of the CEC Strategic Local Plan.

The planning history for the Royal London site makes interesting reading and the Local Authority record of control & compliance with regard to temporary consents on land at Royal London is lamentable. Who is going to ensure future democratic decision making for development on land at Royal London and other strategic sites?
Nick Jones
Tuesday 3rd October 2017 at 12:24 pm
I note that the Agenda for CEC Cabinet meeting on 10/10/17 ;

Royal London is to be discussed “to help guide future planning applications for development within the site” PRESUMPTIVE ?? LIKE THE LOCAL PLAN THEN ??

And under ; MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED WITHOUT THE PUBLIC AND PRESS PRESENT, The proposed sale of land at Longridge, Knutsford is also to be discussed. Why in camera ?? What are they hiding again ?? Pollution data ??, Access Road strategies ??
Tuesday 3rd October 2017 at 3:13 pm
Thank you Nick Jones. I see that the Councillor for Lacey Green attends this Cabinet Meeting. Maybe he will let residents know what is taking place? I noted that he was involved in developer meetings over Stanneylands too.