Plans to demolish a redundant nursing home and replace it with a block of retirement apartments are set to be determined by Cheshire East Council next week.
Churchill Retirement Living are seeking planning permission to demolish Cypress House, located on the corner of Wilmslow Road and South Acre Drive in Handforth, and erect a replacement building containing 45 apartments for retirement living along with a guest apartment, communal facilities, access, car parking and landscaping.
The existing building, which was used as a nursing home until 2006 has been unoccupied since.
Handforth Parish Council strongly recommend refusal of the application stating "The affordability and viability documents have been heavily redacted and consider this unjustified and do not have the full information to make informed consideration as to whether the applicant can reduce the affordable scope from the Cheshire East target of 30% down to 17%.
"The environment agency has raised a considerable objection relating to the drainage of the site and the Parish Council feel that the case officer should review this very carefully. The Parish Council also note that S106 contributions have yet to be determined and should be put towards local infrastructure such as health services, local schools, public realm, public transport investment and creation of off street car parking.
"The Parish Council also note that they consider this an overdevelopment of the site; and one that is not in keeping with the area. There is a lack of parking provision in this area and the development will only serve to exacerbate the problem. There are also objections from multiple neighbouring properties which have yet to be fully addressed."
Additionally 29 objections were received over two periods of consultation objecting to this application on the grounds of insufficient parking provision, overdevelopment, loss of privacy and loss of light to occupants of South Acre Drive and lack of amenity space for the residents.
A previous application to demolish Cypress House and construction a new apartment block was withdrawn in 2016 and prior to that plans to replace the redundant nursing home with thirteen 2 bedroom affordable houses were withdrawn in September 2015.
The planning officer is recommending that the Northern Planning Committee approve the planning application at their meeting on Wednesday, 9th September concluding that "The proposal provides 45 dwellings for older persons of an acceptable scale relative to the area and would deliver housing within a highly sustainable location near to the village centre. The site is brownfield and therefore its redevelopment to provide retirement accommodation in such a highly sustainable location aligns with the general principles of national and local policy.
"The proposals would provide much needed accommodation and correspondingly, a diverse community taken with surrounding uses. There are benefits derived from ensuring a sustainable future use is secured for such an important and prominent site within Handforth."
Adding "In design terms, as amended, this is a well designed scheme which would sit well in the existing surroundings. The impact on highway safety is considered to be acceptable and the proposal would not materially harm neighbouring residential amenity. The applicants have demonstrated general compliance with national and local guidance in a range of areas including ecology, flood risk, noise and air quality. The proposal is for sustainable development which would bring environmental, economic and social benefits.
"The proposal is therefore considered to be acceptable in the context of the relevant policies of the Cheshire East Local Plan Strategy the saved policies of the Macclesfield Borough Local Plan, the Handforth Neighbourhood Plan and advice contained within the NPPF. The application is therefore recommended for approval subject to conditions and the necessary Section 106 obligation."