Plans for 161 homes on former Green Belt approved

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Plans for a residential development at Heathfield Farm, off Dean Row Road, have been approved.

The Strategic Planning Board approved Taylor Wimpey's scheme for 161 homes on the previously undeveloped 6.4 ha greenfield site which was released from the Green Belt following adoption of the Cheshire East Local Plan.

Ten members voted in favour of the plans at their meeting on Wednesday, 28th February, whilst two abstained (Cllr Burkhill and Cllr Hough).

Councillor Toni Fox, who sits on the Strategic Planning Board said "I raised several concerns on behalf of residents and myself in relation to the ridge height and location of the 3 storey apartment blocks fronting directly onto Dean Row Road, current levels of traffic congestion at the Dean Row roundabout, the encroachment onto safeguarded land and requested the installation of air quality monitoring device at the Dean Row roundabout.

"As stated in the report, officers confirmed that they considered the proposals acceptable and air quality monitoring unnecessary.

"I also raised the outstanding highways works to improve the access onto the A34 at Summerfields conditioned as part of the Bollin Park development approval and requested this was implemented prior to any work on this site, should approval be given. Highways officers agreed to chase this up."

Cllr Fox added "As the Independent Ward Councillor for the Dean Row Ward residents may question why I did not abstain or propose a refusal of this application however I have been, and will continue to be, honest, straight and open with the residents I represent.

"An abstention would have been an avoidance of an uncomfortable decision and unfortunately in this case (the third planning application to be submitted locally on sites approved in the Local Plan) none of the concerns were substantive enough in terms of material consideration to support a recommendation to refuse the planning application that would undoubtedly have been lost at appeal."

The development will comprise a range of house types including townhouses, semi-detached, detached houses and apartments. The scheme is for 12 one and 12 two bedroom apartments, which will be affordable, along with 14 two bed affordable semis, 74 three bedroom houses, of which ten will be affordable, 35 four and 14 five bedroom houses.

Wilmslow Town Council recommended refusal of the application due to the use of the safeguarded land and raised concerns regarding the delivery of infrastructure.

Twenty-three letters objecting to the scheme were received, amongst the concerns raised were lack of infrastructure, impact on wildlife, loss of view to the Peak District, increased traffic adding to existing congestion, loss of green space, new buildings should be a maximum of two-storeys, impact on drainage and developments of this size should have more than one entrance.

Work is expected to commence on the development in 2018 and the construction period is likely to last 4 years.

Heathfield Farm


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

Paul Hampton
Thursday 1st March 2018 at 1:14 pm
"I also raised the outstanding highways works to improve the access onto the A34 at Summerfields conditioned as part of the Bollin Park development approval and requested this was implemented prior to any work on this site, should approval be given. Highways officers agreed to chase this up."

It would be helpful to receive an update on this essential element ASAP please, Cllr Fox.
Robert Bracegirdle
Thursday 1st March 2018 at 2:21 pm
More green belt lost. How blinkered we are.
Toni Fox
Thursday 1st March 2018 at 4:04 pm

It is worth mentioning at the outset that for the works to be carried out to widen the link road onto the A34 bypass at Summerfields that this junction will have to be closed for periods of time and one lane of the A34 bypass will also have to be closed.

Historically the Highways Department have stated that the contractor was unavailable to carry out the works on some of the agreed dates however the Highways Department have also stated "they (Cheshire East Council) cannot instruct a contractor to carry out the work until the SEMMS work is complete."

Commitments to several dates for the start of the works have therefore been given over the last 24 months but as none of these were met I reported it to the Planning Enforcement Department last September as a breach of the Condition imposed by the Council.

The Enforcement Department has set procedures and timescales for processing a report and when this one fell outside that timescale I asked if the Department could issue a Breach of Condition Notice and set a timescale for when the works are required to be completed by. I have been advised that because of the ongoing works and disruption being caused by SEMMMS in the local area this would not facilitate the works being carried out.

Yesterday the Highways Officer at the meeting agreed to follow this up yet again to try and resolve this situation.

When I have a definitive answer I will let residents know.

Councillor Toni Fox - Independent
Wilmslow Dean Row
Martin Kitchin
Thursday 1st March 2018 at 4:41 pm
Thank you Toni Fox for your support and honesty. It does not go un noticed by residents in and Summerfields Village

Martin Kitchin
Summerfields Residents Association
Richard Slater
Thursday 1st March 2018 at 4:57 pm
Far too much Green there, TW will be back saying its uneconomical and asking for a revision of more like 200+ units
Julian Barlow
Thursday 1st March 2018 at 5:39 pm
It's safe to assume in almost every case that the public will be opposed to loss of green spaces (green belt or otherwise) whilst the Council will continue permit unprecedented levels of development, often contradicting their own guidelines. Why bother with the pretence of public consultation?
Rick Andrews
Thursday 1st March 2018 at 5:49 pm
Let's see if all these new homes and increased population are provided with the required local increase in health care, schools and council facilities, which should be funded by developers agreed contributions. Or will these funds disappear into another failed Cheshire East outsourcing scheme or project elsewhere? Not to mention the complete failure to upgrade roads and access. There are currently 500 properties for sale in Wilmslow and a further 150 properties to let - do we really need this rate of new build when the whole area's infrastructure is on the brink of collapse? Can our councillors explain the logic behind the Cheshire East Local Plan, as it seems to be predicated on random release of green belt for building with no link to infrastructure implementation.
Paul Hampton
Sunday 4th March 2018 at 9:18 am
Thanks for continuing to hold the Highways Department to account on this matter, Toni Fox.

The line around waiting for SEMMMS to complete feels like a stalling tactic and given the repeated delays to that project they should really get started with the Summerfields / A34 work during school summer break (that’s 2018!) in order to minimise overall disruption.
Pete Taylor
Sunday 4th March 2018 at 12:23 pm
Speaking of failed CEC outsourcing schemes, surely the worst-ever was the outsourcing of the Highways Department, at the time our Councillor was bragging about saving us a million pounds per year; well now we can see what happens when corners are cut.

Actually , the outsourcing of iT to the failed (£8M?) Cosocius fiasco and the Lyme Green fiasco might be worse. Funny how the same names keep cropping up.
Rod Menlove
Sunday 4th March 2018 at 7:23 pm
Pete Taylor again is repeating what he knows has been refuted on this site.

The original decision to outsource the maintenance of highways was made by Cheshire County Council (not Cheshire East Council) more than a decade ago and the contract then was awarded to the Bam Nuttall company. Towards the contract end CEC, who had inherited the CCC arrangements, went through the full OJEU compliant process. This judged that Ringway Jacobs offered the best value for money solution to the tax payer ahead of several bidders including the original contractors Bam Nutall.
The state of the roads nationally is a recognised problem with the trade body of the asphalt association estimating that £12bn is needed to bring the network up to scratch.
I have no in depth knowledge of Cosocius so cannot comment.
The Lyme Green project for a waste transfer site went to Strategic Planning and was rejected by the councillors on the committee. This was a democratic decision on an officer led project and after an internal investigation, the senior officers involved left CEC.

The above is in the public domain on matters occurring 5 or so years ago.
I repeat my offer to meet Pete Taylor, who resides in my ward of Wilmslow East, to discuss these or any other matters at a time and place of his choosing with or without others present.

Rod Menlove
Pete Taylor
Sunday 4th March 2018 at 8:52 pm
Every year CEC tells us how well they are doing with potholes, every year the situation gets worse. Despite the poor state of the roads the five year contract with Ringway Jacobs was extended a further two years; presumably they will not be given the contract again?
Pete Taylor
Sunday 4th March 2018 at 8:57 pm
Perhaps it is time for CEC to rethink their "best value for money" outsourcing solutions?
Alan Brough
Sunday 4th March 2018 at 10:40 pm
Cllr Menlove - please just explain the inconsistencies in your position relating to the acquisition of green belt land for development.

Tell us what investment is planned for schools, healthcare, elderly care, road infrastructure and public transport so that these services keep pace with the housing development being nodded through by your colleagues at CE.

Explain (if you can) the nonsense of £50,000 of OUR money being paid out every month to very slowly investigate the alleged wrongdoings and inadequacies of Council Officers at CE
Nick Jones
Monday 5th March 2018 at 1:09 pm
@ Pete Taylor; Why would you want to meet a public servant who can’ or wont explain their actions in public ?.... WTC election; "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 am on record as supporting building on brownfield sites before green areas and on allowing offices to be converted to housing. I have publicly opposed any housing on the Royal London site…” Apparently not the case !........ Lyme Green fiasco “ has been a wholly regrettable incident and one that has caused the reputation of the council to be called into question .. I cannot though, in all conscience, ignore the fact this situation arose on my watch ..” Well now we have “The Lyme Green project …. was a democratic decision on an officer led project and after an internal investigation, the senior officers involved left CEC. The above is in the public domain on matters occurring 5 or so years ago.” Well it’s not in the public domain its concealed alongside the total Cost and role of those responsible .... A full and frank admission and release of the full unedited report / costs and conduct would make it in the public domain so please don’t delay ! So leaving for one moment that we have no explanation why 'The Wilmslow four' voted in favour of THEIR CEC Local Plan and a whole plethora of other issues (that will continue to be mentioned at re-election). Perhaps LGM Spin-doctors can give a better line than the one currently presented here or a meaningful meeting with someone who does listen to their electorate. !
Hannelore Hartig
Wednesday 7th March 2018 at 4:12 pm
My concern has been voiced by others, and then also transport. Are we getting more buses and a better service?