The Strategic Planning Board were divided over plans to demolish a house to create an access for a new residential development of over 200 homes in Handforth.
The Planning Officer recommended that the Planning Board refused the applicant permission to demolish 15 Hampson Crescent, create a new vehicular and pedestrian access from Meriton Road / Hampson Crescent, realign Dobbin Brook and create a temporary construction haul road and compound from Sagars Road.
The site forms part of site LPS 34 in the Cheshire East Local Plan Strategy which has outline planning consent for up to 250 dwellings. A reserved matters application is currently being considered for 217 dwellings.
In the end, members of the Strategic Planning Board approved the application with 8 votes in favour and 4 against.
Councillor David Jefferay said "It was a very difficult decision because there is going to be significant disruption for the residents and Sagar Road is likely to be damaged by the construction traffic for which Cheshire East Council (ultimately the council tax payer) will have to pick up the bill. However, it is allocated as a strategic site in the local plan and planning permission for the access on Hampson Crescent had already been approved.
"In the end, I couldn't in good conscience endorse it though because of the impact on residents so I voted against."
In a report prepared for the meeting on Wednesday, 24th July, the Planning Officer stated "The proposed access through the site of 15 Hampson Crescent was approved as part of the outline permission and therefore no issues can be raised with regard to the principle of this in terms of highway impact or impact upon neighbouring properties.
"The application site is a Strategic Site within the CELPS, and in order for the allocated houses to be delivered on the site, construction access has to be achieved. The only options for this are via Meriton Road or Sagars Road. There is clearly significant local opposition to the use of either of these routes, which is acknowledged, however, one or both routes must be used.
"The advice from the Strategic Infrastructure Manager is that either road could be used, but it is recommended that both are used so that the burden is shared. The proposed access routes are therefore acceptable from a highways perspective. There is also no significant impact upon protected trees arising from the proposed development. Additional, more detailed proposals have also been provided for the Hampson Crescent access, Brook culvert, retaining structure and open space.
"As a standalone application, the submitted details do raise concerns in terms of the extent of biodiversity mitigation, the provision of pedestrian and cycle links to the east, and the form of the proposed landscaping. There is considered to be conflict with the development plan arising from all these matters.
"In addition, the construction access route and proposed site compound is located immediately adjacent to existing residential properties and is considered to result in an unacceptable level of noise and disturbance, contrary to policy DC3 of the MBLP and SE12 of the CELPS. Comments from the Environment Agency are awaited on whether the revised proposals for the realignment of Dobbin Brook are acceptable and will be reported as an update, as will comments from the LLFA."