Updated: Revised plans for redevelopment of derelict hotel

New plans to demolish the County Hotel, which has remained vacant since its closure in November 2009, and redevelop the site have been submitted to Cheshire East Council.

Permission had previously been sought to demolish the existing three storey building and erect three residential blocks containing 26 two bedroom apartments at the Harden Park site, which lies within within the North Cheshire Green Belt.

The application was initially scheduled to be determined by the Northern Planning Committee in May but it was withdrawn from the agenda to allow officers more time to discuss potential affordable provision - which was the main reason the Planning Officer was recommending it for refusal.

The application was then considered at the June meeting of the Northern Planning Committee, when Mr P Wakefield, Principal Planning Officer, reported that information had now been received to enable the calculation of the developer's financial contribution for the off-site provision of affordable housing, which amounted to approximately £600,000.

However, the applicant had stated that there was a viability issue associated with the development site and only approximately £300,000 was available for a contribution towards off-site affordable housing.

As a result the application was deferred again so an appraisal of the viability report could be carried out along with an investigation of the options for a pedestrian crossing to Wilmslow Road.

It has since been withdrawn and a revised scheme submitted.

Jamie Hall Projects Director at Hall & Co Property explained "The previous scheme was recommended for approval on the planning committee agenda of 6th June 2018, but in the background we had been undertaking ongoing viability work to ensure that any planning approval is commercially deliverable to enable this long time vacant site to be redeveloped."

Following discussions with Cheshire East, revisions have been made and the proposals are now formally resubmitted. Hall & Co Property are seeking planning permission for the demolition of the existing hotel building and erection of two residential blocks, consisting of 22 apartments and 4 townhouses, together with parking, landscaping and associated works,

Changes from the earlier scheme include: reduced height of the buildings; reduced floorspace; setting back of the townhouse block to create a more open aspect; relocation of the bin stores away from the front of the buildings and the creation of a pedestrian refuge on Alderley Road."

Jamie Hall Projects Director said "These amendments enhance the proposals from the previous scheme and also address some of the comments made by nearby residents on the previous scheme, this proposal has produced a scheme that is viable and will secure the redevelopment of the site upon receipt of planning permission."

Updated 5th October - The planning application can now been viewed on Cheshire East Council's planning portal by searching for planning reference 18/4867M.

County Hotel, Planning Applications


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

Nick Jones
Tuesday 2nd October 2018 at 4:12 pm
Strikes me as a good use of the site from the eyesore it now is.
Pete Taylor
Tuesday 2nd October 2018 at 7:39 pm
I agree with Mr Jones, where might the “off-site” affordable housing be located, Middlewich?

Presumably the Developer is so strapped for cash that he drives a ten year old Ford Focus, rather than something more splendid?
David Nelson
Wednesday 3rd October 2018 at 4:17 pm
Now I don't see anything in the news report about the former "affordable housing". Has that been dropped? Wouldn't surprise me; Middlewich or anywhere else for that matter. Or.....doesn't that matter? Mmm!
Lynne Prescott
Wednesday 3rd October 2018 at 4:39 pm
Pete, the affordable housing is probably going to move with our lost greenbelt, to somewhere south of Crewe I believe...

Yes, I was wondering about the bait and switch from affordable housing to bin-store location. If "viability is genuinely an issue for the poor developer, it would seem this might be an appropriate site choice for a housing association and make the whole thing affordable housing, using all the clause 106 funding we have sitting unused from the other poverty-stricken developers who are building hundreds of new homes within a couple of miles of this site - goodness knows need them in this area!
Buster Wild
Wednesday 3rd October 2018 at 6:08 pm
Where has all the money received from developers under Section 106 gone?
Alan Brough
Monday 8th October 2018 at 4:10 pm
The Developers are clearly "betting men" as there is substantial building work already undertaken on site, as can be seen whilst passing by on Alderley Road.

I do hope that they haven't backed a loser and that the Planning Dept wont force them to take it all apart, brick by brick.

Perhaps I worry unnecessarily.
Carol Shawcross
Tuesday 9th October 2018 at 4:00 pm
It’s clearly a foregone conclusion! No Surprise !!