Revised plans to demolish the County Hotel, which has remained vacant since its closure in November 2009, and redevelop the site are scheduled to be determined by the Northern Planning Committee next week.
Hall & Co Property are seeking planning permission for the demolition of the existing hotel building and erection of two residential blocks, with one block consisting of 22 apartments and the other of 4 townhouses, together with basement and above ground car parking.
The four townhouses would each contain 4 bedrooms and the apartments would consist of 5 one bedroom apartments, 15 two bedroom apartments and 2 three bedroom apartments.
Changes from an earlier scheme include: reduced height of the buildings; reduced floorspace; setting back of the townhouse block; relocation of the bin stores away from the front of the buildings and the creation of a pedestrian refuge on Alderley Road.
The developer has previously sought permission 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. This application was withdrawn in September 2018 following viability issues which would have reduced or removed any ability to contribute to affordable housing, public open space or sport and outdoor recreation funding.
The Planning Officer is recommending the revised scheme for approval, subject to conditions and a s106 agreement, on the grounds that very special circumstances outweigh the impact upon the openness of the Green Belt.
In summary the Planning Officer states "The site comprises previously developed land in a sustainable location, with access to a range of local services and facilities nearby and has good public transport links. It would add to the stock of housing and its construction and occupation would result in social and economic benefits, albeit relatively minor.
"The development would make effective use of a previously developed site and would also result in the removal of the existing unsociable use of the hotel and pub, given the proximity of existing residential properties. The development would improve the appearance of the site which has been vacant for many years, and has fallen into disrepair. The proposed development is considered to have a materially greater impact upon the openness of the Green Belt, however very special circumstances are considered to exist which clearly outweigh the harm. The proposal also raises no significant design, amenity or highway safety issues.
Roy Hall, Chairman of Hall & Co Property said "I am delighted to see that my Family Company, after extensive negotiations and enormous effort from our Architects and Planning Team, have now agreed a positive way forward with this site. As a long term resident of Alderley Edge, for far too many years the site has been an eyesore and indeed an embarrassment to the Village and I am very pleased that this now looks likely to change very soon.
"I do note that the Contributions have been agreed as per the Planning Recommendation of £203,000 that will be spent locally including the sensible request of Councillor Brown to provide a Pedestrian refuge, and a further £362,000 will be contributed to Affordable Housing in Cheshire East.
"Finally, given that this site was for many years residential, it seems appropriate given the density for Food & Drink offerings in the village that the property be returned to a more appropriate use given its setting in the Parklands."
CGIs: View from entrance from Harden Park, view towards main entrance, view towards townhouses.
The plans can now been viewed on Cheshire East Council's planning portal by searching for planning reference 18/4867M.