Controversial plans to demolish two detached residential properties in Wilmslow and erect a care home are scheduled to be determined by the Northern Planning Committee next week.
Altrincham based New Care Project are seeking planning permission to demolish two four bedroomed houses in large plots at 51 to 53 Handforth Road in Wilmslow and replace them with a 65 bedrooms care home with associated landscaping, car parking and access.
The application is to be presented at a meeting of the Northern Planning Committee on Wednesday, 10th April, because it has been 'called-in' to committee at the request of Cllr Barry Burkhill who raised the following concerns "The application has created significant and extensive local concern. It will create precedence for other houses in this area on both sides of the road in an area of large, low density, detached properties, widely separated, set in their own grounds and will inappropriately alter the character of the area. There is concern about overlooking a large car parking area and the parking provided does not meet parking standards, particularly at peak times."
New Care Project applied in March 2018 to replace the two detached properties with an 83-bedroom three storey care home but this application is currently subject to an appeal.
The planning application was originally scheduled to be considered by the planning committee in May 2018 but was then postponed until their June meeting, then the July one. The applicants have since appealed on the grounds of 'non-determination' of the application because the local authority had not issued a decision within the time-frame.
Wilmslow Town Council's initial comments relating to the originally submitted plans, were "Wilmslow Town Council's Planning Committee recommend refusal of this application on the grounds of overdevelopment of the site and being out-of-keeping with the area. Parking provision is also inadequate and the proposed development will be overbearing on neighbouring properties resulting in loss of privacy. In addition, the transport statement is no longer accurate."
Following the amended plans the following comments were submitted: "Wilmslow Town Council's Planning Committee remains of the view that this application is overdevelopment of the site out-of-keeping with the area. still inadequate and the proposed development will be overbearing on neighbouring properties resulting in loss of privacy."
Representations were also received from 50 properties prior to the submission of the revised plans. The main objections raised were: lack of car parking, highway safety issues due to the increase in traffic; doctors surgeries in the area will be overwhelmed and there is not a need in the area for additional care homes as there is a derelict one in the centre of Handforth.
Local residents also objected on the grounds of: loss of light and overlooking of adjacent neighbours; the building will be out of character with the surrounding area which contains mainly two storey detached dwellings and in order to construct the development a number of mature trees would have to be destroyed altering the local landscape and wildlife of this area.
A further 34 properties commented again following the reconsultation after the amended plans were submitted. The comments raise the same concerns as the initial round of objections.
However, the Planning Officer has concluded that "While the objections are noted, the proposed scheme is considered to be acceptable".
In his report for the Northern Planning Committee the Planning Officer states "the development will provide suitable accommodation to enable an ageing population within Cheshire East to live full independent lives for as long as possible. It is considered that the proposal would make a valuable contribution towards meeting an identified housing need for elderly people within the Borough, as well as continuity in their care, which is a material consideration of significant weight. The impact on European Protected Species and other ecological interests has been assessed by the nature conservation officer and is acceptable.
"The proposal accords with the relevant ecology policies in the local plan and national guidance in the Framework. There is not considered to be any reason, having regard to the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010, to withhold planning permission in this case. Similarly, the proposal also raises no significant visual, highway safety, amenity, design or flooding issues, and complies with relevant local and national planning policies. A number of economic benefits will also arise from the development including additional trade for local business and the creation of employment. Bearing all the above points in mind, it is considered that the proposal accords with all other relevant Development Plan policies and as such it is recommended the application be approved, subject to relevant conditions and a s106 contribution to healthcare."
If the application is approved a Section 106 Agreement should include a healthcare contribution of £31,324.00.
The plans can be viewed on the Cheshire East Council Planning Portal by searching for planning reference 18/4024M.