Plans for 217 homes "not considered to be good enough to approve"

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A reserved matters planning application for a residential development on a parcel of land off Meriton Road in Handforth is due to be determined by the Strategic Planning Board next week.

Anwyl Homes, who acquired the 8.35 hectare site between Clay Lane and Sagars Road earlier this year, applied for reserved matters approval (appearance, landscaping, layout and scale) for the erection of 217 dwellings, landscaping, public open space, internal access roads, garages, car parking, and associated infrastructure.

The site was removed from the Green Belt and allocated for residential development of around 250 home in the Cheshire East Local Plan Strategy (CELPS).

Outline planning permission for a residential development of up to 250 dwellings with 30% affordable was approved in 2018 (ref. 17/3894M) as well as access to the site from Meriton Road / Hampson Crescent following the demolition of 15 Hampson Crescent. All other matters were 'reserved' for future approval.

A number of concerns have been raised regarding this development of 217 dwellings, 65 of which will be provided as affordable housing, which includes 19 different house types with a range of one, two, three, four and five bedroom detached, semi-detached houses as well as apartments.

A report prepared for the Strategic Planning Board meeting on Wednesday, 20th November, states that the proposed affordable housing is not considered to be adequately pepper potted around the site and the proposed housing does not provide a mix of housing tenures, types and sizes.

The Planning Officer is recommending the reserved matters planning application for refusal, stating "In terms of open market housing, there is considered to be an over provision of larger 4 bed detached dwellings, and an under provision of smaller units for single people, first time buyers and the elderly.

"As a consequence, the proposal is not considered to be good enough to approve in its current form."

They added "The level of parking for some 4 bed properties does not meet the parking standards within the CELPS. A number of the proposed parking spaces also fall short of the dimensions stated for parking spaces and garages set out in the CELPS. This would force vehicles to park on the road and would thereby be harmful to the visual amenity of the area and highway safety."

The Planning Officer concluded "The provision of 217 new dwellings is clearly a benefit of the proposal, which will make a valuable contribution to the delivery of the Council's 5 year housing land supply. However, it should be noted that 217 dwellings is still a significant shortfall from the allocated 250, and the proposal still does not provide a design that adequately reflects the requirements of the Local Plan or the design guide even at this lower density, which does make it harder to accept.

"Other benefits relating to the development were secured at the outline stage, including 30% affordable housing, and contributions towards improvements to local footpaths / leisure routes, towards recreation and outdoor sports provision, towards healthcare and towards education. The applicants have worked with officers over several months in an attempt to achieve a mutually acceptable scheme, which to date has not been realized.

"It is expected that the applicant will seek to address the outstanding issues in the coming days and further details will be provided as an update. As it currently stands, there is clear conflict with the development plan and supplementary planning documents. The conflict with the development plan identified above is not considered to be outweighed by other material considerations in this case. The proposal is therefore not considered to be a sustainable form of development."

The reserved matters planning application can be viewed on Cheshire East Council's planning portal by searching for planning reference 19/2202M.

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Comments

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

Bill Bennett
Wednesday 13th November 2019 at 9:28 pm
It great building all of these homes, but, what we actually need is affordable rental homes, for those members of the public who cannot afford to buy. I would also like to see the definition of affordable homes tightened. Are they affordable to someone on minimum wage or the living wage?

Our council should demand that developers build homes that suitable to people on lower salaries.
David Smith
Wednesday 13th November 2019 at 10:26 pm
Too many homes in the wrong place.
Where will the people who live there go to work? Wherever it is - they will go by car and clog up the roads that are already too busy. Has anyone else recently tried to exit onto the A34 towards Wilmslow from the car park at the rear of the paddock in Handforth? There is a constant stream of traffic.
It does not help that Cheshire Highways have been incapable [in my opinion] of building suitable roads round here that allow an orderly and efficient flow of traffic. There are too many traffic lights with their associated stop-starts when a fly-over instead would be better.
We must STOP letting big house building companies build large numbers of houses on green-field sites. Such companies can only exist if they are allowed to build hundreds of dwellings at a time. The way forward is to build smaller numbers [up to 10 at a time] on brown-field sites that are dotted around our towns and cities and not around here because our infrastructure [roads, doctors, schools, rivers, drainage, public transport] cannot cope.
It is about time that a land survey is undertaken that identifies land as farmland [for agriculture], green-field [for leisure and appreciation], woodland [for nature], commercial and brownfield [for possible commercial or residential development]. Any other categories you might like to add? No building is allowed on sites other than brown-field sites and when they are all used up developers will have to go elsewhere and use up the brownfield sites in other locations.
We must also stop allowing homes to be sold for rent.
Chris Bentley
Wednesday 13th November 2019 at 10:36 pm
If there are concerns - why have they already commenced with preparing the site? But why would we be surprised - just go on any property search and look at the cost of buying and renting in SK9!

I've not seen any news coming through regarding how the schools, doctors and roads are going to be able to manage the increase of children, patients and cars??

Bit of a curve ball question - considering the recent issues we have seen of flooding, rivers bursting banks etc why are we hell bent on reducing the natural water table and laying yet more and more tarmac and drainage systems that will just exacerbate the situation 10 fold?
Chris Wigley
Thursday 14th November 2019 at 7:33 am
I hope the Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee and his committee will not allow any changes to the scheme in the 'reserved matter' until they have had adequate time to consider the changes first, by deferring until a later meeting alterations proposed by Anwyl Homes. Decisions on the nature of the site should not be agreed on the basis of 11th hour changes.
Having been to the previous planning committee on the development of the compound was discussed members of the committee were thorough and also critical that this site had been given planning permission by a previous committee, their hands were tied as far as planning permission however they do have it within their power to make the site the best it can be.
I suspect that Anwyl are now under increasing pressure to start building as there are a number of competing sites most notably that at Stanneylands Road which will be offering houses to the same market.
Roger Bagguley
Thursday 14th November 2019 at 9:05 am
Good to see a planning officer recommending refusal on the large houses issue. Residents of Wilmslow (RoW) recently recorded that 82% of houses approved at the Lindow end of the town have 4 and 5 bedrooms. On one site 14 semi prestigious homes are approved with a condition the developer pays for affordables elsewhere. Where I ask and when?
Anita Willoughby
Saturday 16th November 2019 at 10:26 am
Regarding the paragraph about parking provision being insufficient for 4 bedroomed homes. Planning rules are encouraging multi car households instead of providing joined up public transport. This flies in the face of the climate emergency and those government agencies declaring a response to it.

I quote The National Federation of Builders’ Major Contractors Group from Planning Portal. ...'the group says a 30-mile trip in an average car will create 7.2kg of carbon dioxide. Under the UK’s original 80 per cent reduction target, 7.2kg represents an individual’s daily personal allowance of carbon dioxide in 2050 and “would not leave anything for the food they eat, the work they do or the buildings that our construction sector will need to deliver”.'

All layers of government need to join up in their thinking. It is so important to us all. They really must.

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