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."