Call for S106 monies from Handforth development to be reallocated to benefit local residents

Site Plan, Handforth

A reserved matters planning application for a residential development on a parcel of land off Meriton Road in Handforth has been approved by the Strategic Planning Board today (Wednesday, 18th December).

Anwyl Homes, who acquired the 8.35 hectare site between Clay Lane and Sagars Road earlier this year, have been granted reserved matters approval for the erection of 224 dwellings on the site - which was removed from the Green Belt and allocated for residential development of around 250 homes 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.

Anwyl Homes' scheme was scheduled to be determined by the Strategic Planning Board at their November meeting, however the report prepared for the meeting criticised a shortfall in the number of dwellings, location of the affordable housing and the mix of housing tenures.

In November, the Planning Officer recommended 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."

Adding "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."

As a result changes were made to the scheme, which included increasing the number of houses, and the planning officer changed his recommendation to approval, stating "the proposal is considered to comply with the development plan as a whole and is therefore a sustainable form of development."

However, committee members are calling for s106 monies which will be generated from the development to be allocated to Handforth rather than Wilmslow, which is currently the case.

Councillor David Jefferay explained "As the aplication was for the reserved matters only, the contentious issues of access and the principle of development itself were not up for discussion. I had concerns over a couple of issues; whether the provision for dealing with surface water was sufficient based on the calculations provided and how the lack of allotment provision would be compensated by productive planting.

"The officers provided me with adequate responses for me, on balance, to be able to support the application. If the decision was whether we should be building there at all, then I would have struggled. Unfortunately, that boat has already sailed."

He added "There was also discussion regarding the allocation of S106 monies. Some money from the development is currently designated for improvement of the Jim Evison fields in Wilmslow.

"The committee felt that it should have been allocated to facilities in either Handforth or Styal instead to benefit the local residents. This agreement was made at outline stage so was not part of this application so a second resolution was passed for the officers to enter discussions with the ward councillors and the developer to see if the alllocation can be reassigned."

Phil Dolan, managing director of Anwyl Homes Cheshire and North Wales, comments: "We are delighted that planning consent has been granted and are thrilled that our proposed development was supported unanimously by Cheshire East Council.

"Having acquired the land earlier this year on an unconditional basis, in what must have been one of the quickest property deals in the North West in 2019, we have worked hard to create a scheme that offers kerb appeal combined with a superb range of homes surrounded by vast areas of open green spaces and retained and enhanced landscapes."

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Comments

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

John Featherstone
Wednesday 18th December 2019 at 4:21 pm
what a crazy idea one road in and same road out asking for trouble???
Simon Rodrigues
Wednesday 18th December 2019 at 6:05 pm
I really dont have a good feeling about this development and surely the money should go into expanding schooling in the local area
Clive Cooksey
Wednesday 18th December 2019 at 6:26 pm
Yet another green field falls to the Blue Sky Thinkers. Sad so sad.
Audrey Youngman
Wednesday 18th December 2019 at 6:27 pm
Words fail me. You have the idiots running the asylum. You can't park in Handforth now and as for one road in and out. Who approved the plan a 5 year old?
Janet Taylor
Wednesday 18th December 2019 at 6:41 pm
Anybody want to explain why S106 funds from a development in Handforth (not Styal as access is provided by Handforth) is going to the other side of Wilmslow? Handforth has plenty of need for this money, services which should be provided by CEC are sadly lacking, if CEC has no funds, the next best thing is to use funds intended to deliver improved community services in the local area within the community. If I remember correctly Ward Councillors Burkhill and Manhon have been very vocal about allocation of S106 funds in the past, how on earth did they take their eye off the ball on this one?
John Harries
Wednesday 18th December 2019 at 7:23 pm
That's not the half of it. Should never have gone ahead in the first place but the removal of the land from the green belt and the Cheshire East Local Plan Strategy (CELPS) did for any protest.
Another dollop of slush money (err S106) went on a wonderful project at the Station Road/Wilmslow Road Handforth junction that was completed last year - this is just 50M from the Sagars Road access to this housing project, the other access (yes there are two!!) being Meriton Road a further 100M or so towards the centre of Handforth.
As it stands the revised junction has significantly INCREASED traffic congestion/reduced traffic flow rather than relieved it (as far as I can see the only upside to said revised junction is that there is now a barrier preventing any inebriated soul leaving the Freemason Arms from walking directly onto Wilmslow Road - would have been easier and a no cost option to ask the pub to relocate it's main entrance to the side of the building if it was ever considered a hazard to life; as far as I can recall we ain't lost a drunk yet!).
At the time CELPS was in the concept stage plenty of objections were made to building on this particular parcel of green belt - apart from pressure on infrastructure, data suggests an increase of approx. +1000 vehicle movements/day onto/off of Wilmslow Road and all from that one access point you mentioned. The current ravaging, sorry affordable housing development, off Stanneylands Road is but a half mile (as the crow flies) distant so a portion of that increase of 'new' traffic will impinge on Manchester/Wilmslow Road also.
AND (I know, don't start a sentence with 'and') it's all in the name of good planning - it's madness, greed and arrogance and I hope CEC takes notice of the recent General Election trends of what happens to politicians/administrators who ignore the will, needs and desires of those they are employed by and are supposed to represent; they've got their way on this but a day of reckoning is not far off - too late for this bit of green belt and Handforth residents but remember what happened and GET RID OF THEM next local election time.
Roger Small
Thursday 19th December 2019 at 8:55 am
Outline planning permission for the housing development between Clay Lane and Sagars Road was granted under application no. 17/3894M. The S106 agreement for this development is complex, runs to 66 pages and represents an agreement made between six different parties. If I have interpreted the document correctly, the agreement seems to make provision for:

1. Healthcare services
2. Secondary education (Wilmslow High School?)
3. Education for those with special needs
4. Footpath improvement - Sagars Road via Dobbin Brook glen to the River Dean
5. Resurfacing of the western end of Clay lane
6. A footbridge to Meriton Road Park
7. Improved pavilion facilities at the Jim Everson playing fields in Wilmslow

Item no. 7 in the above list could represent expenditure of approximately £200k. Handforth residents might justifiably ask why this money is being spent in Wilmslow when the footbridge associated with the development will lead into Meriton Road Park which is desperately in need of both land drains and a refurbished and extended pavilion.

The developers of the site between Clay Lane and Sagars Road currently refer to their development as “The Fairways, Handforth”. The site lies within the parish of Styal but is to have no direct road (suitable for cars and larger vehicles) connection with Styal village. It is anticipated that the 224 homes to be built on this site will have Handforth postal addresses and that the occupants thereof will likely use public service facilities (e.g. health centre, library, station, schools, churches) located in Handforth rather than Styal. These considerations might suggest that Handforth parish boundary should be extended westward to include the Clay Lane/Sagars Road site. If Handforth residents feel that expansion of the parish should occur in this way, they should make their feelings clear by completing the (current) CEC questionnaire on the governance of town and parish councils.
Julie Green
Thursday 19th December 2019 at 12:29 pm
About time some of this s106 money was used to sort out the potholes.
Richard Armstead
Thursday 19th December 2019 at 3:18 pm
This development sits in both Styal Parish and Lacey Green Ward. Styal Parish Council objected to an alternative access into their village which would have helped relieve traffic into Handforth. Talk about 'not in my back yard'. Mr. Stockton who represents this Cheshire East ward is awfully quiet on this development and it seems it is left to RoW and Handforth councillors to try and redress the balance of what is a most unsustainable housing development.

The traffic congestion in Handforth has become worse since the Airport Relief Rd opened as it presents the most direct access from Wimslow both from the South and the East. The purpose of the new roundabout on Handforth Rd now becomes clear, as a traffic calming method for all the increased traffic expected to head for the ARR via Handforth.

When these houses are built the Sagars Rd junction with Wilmslow Rd will be gridlocked as will the junction with Meriton Rd. Residents from this development will look for alternatives especially heading south and attempt to use The Link into Bulkeley Rd and so to the traffic light junction. This will be both chaotic and dangerous.

The previous Cheshire East Council has a lot to answer for and the consequences of this assault on Cheshire's Green Belt will be felt for a generation to come.
David Smith
Thursday 19th December 2019 at 9:30 pm
Absolutely MAD. It just goes to confirm as I have mentioned so often that decisions which seriously affect the quality of our daily lives are decided by a bunch of Muppets. The next change will be a set of traffic lights on the A34 to allow traffic in and out of the single access road to the estate. This will bring to a halt any traffic on the A34 between Wilmslow and the A555 because there are just TOO MANY sets of lights. This development is more for the purpose of making profits for the developers and not much for the easy living of existing local residents.
The recent despicable information coming out of PERSIMMON [a house building empire making almost £1 billion profit] is so damaging to any builder of brick boxes - that innocent members of the public are queuing up to buy with massive loans. If you want to get updated on Persimmon have a look at the following links.

https://www.ft.com/content/e1cc6cfa-2268-11ea-b8a1-584213ee7b2b

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-50827576

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7809383/Riverbank-collapses-50-yards-brand-new-110-home-Persimmon-housing-estate.html

Food for thought?
Oh - and please will anyone who is unhappy about this sort of local development contact our local councillor [Don Stockton] at his home at 41 Stanneylands Drive, Handforth, SK94EU.
David Smith
Friday 20th December 2019 at 11:36 am
Furthermore:
This site is ideal for local housing - BUT of a specific type and design.
Climate change and public requirements DEMAND that we change the way in which we live. Oh, and it should have begun yesterday, by the way, and not on some council’s list of plans to think about at some date in the future.
This site is ideal for HOMES that do not have access by motorcar - not ANY car or vehicle except access by an emergency vehicle. They do not even have spaces for car parking [including a garage] and pander to the demands of those who wish to be free of such a curse of modern day living. Never mind electric cars/car share/etc. What such a development would have is a ‘greenbelt’ environment of trees, shrubs grass areas and paths between the homes that are a mix of houses and apartments. Note here I do not say ‘flats’ but their more desirable and higher standard equivalent. To know what I mean please refer to the recent “George Clark’s Council House Scandal” programme on Chanel4. The Council House apartments in Vienna shown in the later part of this episode should make everyone in the UK responsible for housing hang their head with shame. If you wish to see the programme again it is available at various links including https://www.channel4.com/programmes/george-clarkes-council-house-scandal/on-demand/69217-001 [registering with Chanel4 is required to watch].
This site in Handforth has great potential for such carless living as it is very close to LOCAL shops [get that councillor Goldsmith?], a short walk to a railway station with regular links. It would be even better if bus connections existed which are severely in need of implementing asap.
John Smith
Sunday 22nd December 2019 at 2:19 pm
I would like to inform John Harries of an inaccuracy in his above comments. He states as follows:

"Another dollop of slush money (err S106) went on a wonderful project at the Station Road/Wilmslow Road Handforth junction that was completed last year - this is just 50M from the Sagars Road access to this housing project, the other access (yes there are two!!) being Meriton Road a further 100M or so towards the centre of Handforth."

The new traffic lights/crossings at the junction of Wilmslow Road and Station Road were not funded by S106 monies, or indeed CEC at all. The total cost was met by Stockport Council and was in mitigation for the effects on Handforth of the completed A555.

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