The decision on the controversial planning application for a new residential development on land north of Stanneylands Road has been deferred due to insufficient information being provided.
Following a lengthy discussion at a meeting of the Strategic Planning Committee on Wednesday, 22nd November, Councillor Toni Fox, Independent councillor for Wilmslow Dean Row Ward, proposed that David Wilson Homes' plans for 174 homes be deferred until a later meeting.
Cllr Fox's proposal was approved by 7 votes to 6 and was supported by an Independent, two Labour and three Conservative councillors.
Councillor Toni Fox told wilmslow.co.uk "This application was put before the Committee without the detail we would expect to be provided for consideration of a full planning application and it was deferred.
"Insufficient detail was submitted on the three proposed vehicular accesses to the development on a very narrow section of Stanneylands Road, catagorised as a rural road, and the required footpath and cycle links to facilities and schools in both Handforth and Wilmslow.
"The latter is of particular relevance given that one of the four principles of this site being released from the Green Belt by the Inspector cannot be met; Provision of a new pedestrian and cycle bridge across the River Dean and improvement of public access along the river valley to include a footpath link from Linneys Bridge to Manchester Road.
"As an alternative a footpath link is proposed via Sagars Road however this is a significantly longer route that will negotiate a severe incline and a wooded valley.
"Clarification has been requested if this is feasible alternative route, that it will meet with legislative and Council Policy requirements, if it is considered to be a safe route, if it will be suitable for disabled access and whether it will meet the recommended minimum distances required for services such as railway stations, bus stops, health centres, post offices etc."
Cllr Fox added "Both residents and committee members also raised concerns on the lack of evidence of safe pedestrian access to Wilmslow, the nearest local primary school at Lacey Green and to nearby public footpaths. CEC's Director of Planning was willing to include, as a late addition to the application during the debate, a requirement for a pedestrian crossing over Stanneylands Road. Additional information has been requested to confirm this is both viable and compliant with regulations.
"Similarly the submitted details of the public open space/play area were not considered by CEC's officers 'to be acceptable' and amendments sought by the Principal Nature Conservation Officer to the landscape plan and drainage scheme had not been addressed.
"I am delighted that enough committee members agreed with these concerns to support the deferral of the application until such time as additional information is available.
"It remains of some concern however that it would appear from comments made by some senior council officers and some committee members at the meeting that this planning application had been fast tracked to come before the Committee for the sole purpose of assisting the councils desire to have a 5 year housing supply.
"As has been evidenced in the committee's decision this is totally unacceptable and I would hope this situation will not arise again."
Cheshire East Council has received 815 letters objecting or commenting on the scheme which includes a new roundabout onto Stanneylands Road, public open space, pedestrian/cycleway connection between Linneys Bridge and the River Dean and a new bridge crossing of the River Dean.
The accommodation comprises of eight 1 bedroom properties, nineteen with 2 bedrooms, thirty 3 bedroom properties and 112 properties with 4 bedrooms. The properties are made up of 24 apartments and 150 houses with each property having access to two off road parking spaces.
The Planning Officer had recommended that the Strategic Planning Committee approve the application at their meeting on Wednesday, 22nd November, subject to a Section 106 Agreement.