'An aggressive attempt to build houses on the green belt'

yew tree farm

Plans have been submitted for a residential development on green belt land currently occupied by an abattoir and a house on Moor Lane.

The Stewart Milne Group has applied for full planning permission to build 22 homes at Yewtree Farm along with associated infrastructure and open space provision.

Apart from the dwelling house, the owners say the site has been used as an abattoir since 2001. Two separate planning applications for Lawful Development Certificates to formalise these uses were submitted in August 2014 (dwelling house 14/3785M) and October 2014 (abattoir 14/4954M). Application 14/3785M was approved in March 2015 but application 14/4954M remains undetermined.

Councillor Gary Barton confirmed that the previous application for a legal change of use of the land for an abattoir (14/4954M) is due to be rejected, with official notice likely to be given in the next week or two. He said that this reduces the applicant's chances of success, as it confirms that the majority of buildings presently on the site are for agricultural purposes and means the land occupied by the those buildings cannot be used for housing development.

Councillor Barton commented "This is the latest in a series of planning applications that are an aggressive attempt to build houses on the green belt. I have already been contacted by a number of local residents who are concerned both by the nature of the proposed development, its impact on neighbouring houses, and the increased volume of traffic it would generate on Moor Lane.

"I have already requested that the application be called-in before the Northern Planning Committee and it has been confirmed that this will happen."

He added "We do need new houses in Wilmslow, and developments, which use already developed land, such as the site of the old County Council offices at Remenham, are welcome. However, it is clearly not appropriate for developers who have no regard for the concerns of local residents or the needs of Wilmslow to make ad hoc decisions.

"Many people would be happy to see the abattoir on Yewtree farm disappear, but this cannot come at any price. A sensible application that truly reflects the footprint of the abattoir itself and that does not cause harm to the green belt or neighbouring houses would be more worthy of consideration.

"Any resident who would like to discuss the application with me can contact me at [email protected]."

The proposal is for two-storey detached properties and mews houses with 30% of the properties being affordable and two parking spaces per property.

Access into the site will continue to be from Moor Lane, which will be the only point of vehicular access into the site.

The planning application can be viewed on the Cheshire East Council website by searching for planning reference 15/3058M. The deadline for submitting comments is 13th August and a decision is expected to be made by 15th October.

Moor Lane, Planning Applications


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

Howard Piltz
Wednesday 22nd July 2015 at 1:25 pm
As a near neighbour, my feelings are that houses are better the a knackers yard.
Jane Mitchell
Wednesday 22nd July 2015 at 2:13 pm
This seems to be a perfect spot for much needed housing in Wilmslow. It would improve the area no end. There is nothing wrong with the roads as it is possible to travel in all all directions to get to the proposed site.
Surely it will be an improvement on what is there?
Wednesday 22nd July 2015 at 2:16 pm
"An aggressive attempt to build on Green Belt" - I thought, at first, that the headline was a comment on the latest Local Plan which tries to tell residents that the greenfields around Wilmslow are not in the Green Belt but "urban" because they fall within an administrative boundary. In the "emerging local plan" this site would be brownfield and up for consideration as housing. Presumably what Councillor Barton means is that this site is not in the preferred place that the Council want to develop. The site and the application should be considered on its merits and residents should have the opportunity to put forward their views on the planning website just like any other planning application.
Pete Taylor
Wednesday 22nd July 2015 at 2:29 pm
Is this actually a "slaughter house " or just a shed where their Christmas turkeys are processed?
Well done to Cllr Barton et al for escalating this one.
The new Business Secretary recently made a statement to the BBC saying there was no need to build on green belt land to achieve the required number of houses.
Jon Williams
Wednesday 22nd July 2015 at 4:42 pm
A big NO to this housing development.
Dave Cash
Wednesday 22nd July 2015 at 5:02 pm
AFAIK, it is not a 'knackers yard' nor an abattoir, but a licensed poultry slaughterhouse (modified outbuildings) and associated farmhouse.
Yewtree farm (clue is in the name) has existed since before 1973, (but I don't know when current owners acquired the farm), so basically agricultural 'green belt'.
CEC Cllr G Barton was right to call in the current planning application for further consideration by the Northern Planning Committee Cllrs.
It will help to assess CEC's stated commitment to protect the 'Green Belt'.
IMO land between Lindow & Saltersley Common is not suitable for housing, due to underlying geology.
Bob Bracegirdle
Wednesday 22nd July 2015 at 8:25 pm
Nice to see a comment from Howard Piltz. I suspect he is right, knowing the area.
Jack Pink
Wednesday 22nd July 2015 at 8:52 pm
Surely this is exactly what the posters on this website want. One of the few brownfield sites in Wilmslow
Pete Taylor
Thursday 23rd July 2015 at 7:45 am
Is a farm "brownfield"?
Roger Bagguley
Thursday 23rd July 2015 at 5:10 pm
Currently the farm house and its footprint is a brown site being licensed as a dwelling. However, it appears the unlicensed slaughter of poultry has been going on for a number of years. As the application to achieve retrospectively a license to operate all of the outbuildings as an abattoir has not yet been heard then these buildings are agricultural and cannot be converted to housing units without change of use approval. I guess this is what the application to become an abattoir is all about as this change would reclassify all buildings and their footprints as being brown. If Gary Barton is right then planning permission for 22 houses will not be accepted. However, if permission for the abattoir is granted then this whole site becomes brown curtilage within the Green Belt and should be considered for development by CEC if it is serious about its brownfield site first policy.

Whatever, this current application for 22 houses must not be approved as the plans for it clearly show the development strays off what would be a brown footprint and encroaches on to the Green Belt. Full stop.

However, should in the future a change of use application be approved then it will afford a
very good opportunity to improve this site whilst contributing to the housing need we are told in required for Wilmslow. Residents of Wilmslow (RoW) will want to be involved in this provision to make sure the wishes of all neighbours are met in the design and that the Green Belt is protected.

The application is opportunist with the revised Local Plan going back to the Government inspector on July 31st. The Conservative CEC cabinet approved the amendments to this plan this week and this throws up a possibility that all land north of Moor Lane will be identified as being suitable for development at some point, from Ned Yates Garden Centre down to Strawberry Lane. Fingers crossed on this one. But CEC wants to build 500 more houses than planned for in the seriously flawed original Local Plan and is not yet saying where they plan to release land from the Green Belt in order to achieve this figure. Obviously RoW will strongly object to any incursion on to the Green Belt. Today, only 5 years in to the Local plan, 380 houses are already built or are under construction in Wilmslow and there is sufficient brown field site opportunity to achieve the 900 units required by 2030. There are 57 units on the way at Remenham on Bedells Lane and many more approved and registered applications. It all comes down the will of CEC and Conservative councillors to drive forward brown sites and to stop speculative developers taking advantage of the current situation where they rightly can believe the revised local plan will fail.
Jack Pink
Thursday 23rd July 2015 at 8:44 pm
There are not many more brownfield sites in Wilmslow. The area is so valuable they would have been built by now. On another note NPPF doesn't restrict building to the footprint of the original building in the same way PPG2 did.
Roger Bagguley
Thursday 23rd July 2015 at 9:55 pm
Jack. CEC does not deny my brown sites exist, in fact they have increased the RoW count with the release of their cabinet papers that informed the meeting on Tuesday. In these papers they say some of these sites may become available beyond the plan period.
We have visited Wilmslow brown sites with a CEC planning officer and councillors, and were given reasons as to why they either cannot be developed or are not available. These do not stack up when we talk to land owners.

Your point about NPPF and PPG2 is interesting. On the same day we visited brown sites in Wilmslow we took the planning officer to discuss brown curtilage in the Green Belt. Information was that CEC is not keen to allow development of these sites but if they were then new units would have to be on the original footprints. Since then I have seen several proposed planning applications for a number of these sites. Whilst new units are spread across the sites they do not stray off the total brown footprint and encroach on to the Green Belt (Guess CEC has moved on). Where one did CEC rightly advised the plan will not succeed unless this encroachment is removed. For once RoW and CEC agree.
Anthony Evans
Friday 24th July 2015 at 2:17 pm
Does Gary Barton agree that the submission for housing on the yard at Lindow Peat Farm is also an 'aggressive attempt to build in the green belt'?
Or is that far enough away from his front door.