Green light for 250 new homes

A controversial planning application for a new residential development of up to 250 homes on land between Clay Lane and Sagars Road has been approved.

The Strategic Planning Board agreed with the Planning Oifficer's recommendation and approved the plans at their meeting on Wednesday, 25th October.

Eight committee members voted for the scheme from HIMOR (Land) Ltd, whilst four voted against.

The site, which is currently used as agricultural grazing land and consists of three fields, has been allocated in the Cheshire East Local Plan Strategy (LPS) for the delivery of 250 dwellings. It is proposed that 75 of the 250 properties will be affordable housing.

Toni Fox, Independent councillor for the Wilmslow Dean Row Ward, is a member of the Strategic Planning Board and voted against the plans, which resulted in nearly 400 letters of objection.

Cllr Fox told "In my opinion those who voted for it did so because it is a site allocation in the Local Plan irrespective of the fact that the Inspector clearly stated during the hearings that not all sites would necessarily be considered suitable for development.

"It was approved irrespective of the lack of detail as to how the access - a new bridge - will be constructed in such a confined area; irrespective of concerns on access for large construction vehicles on a narrow residential road littered with parked cars; irrespective of the applicant refusing to advise if the cost of its construction will impact on the viability of the site; irrespective of the 400 objections from local residents and opposition from both Handforth Parish Council and the two Handforth ward councillors and irrespective of the concerns raised by the independent Traffic Assessment undertaken on behalf of Handforth Parish Council."

The Planning Officer's report stated "The applicant is providing financial contributions required in order to make the development acceptable and is providing the full amount of affordable housing on site which is essential in order to make developments sustainable in the future. It is considered that the proposals are environmental, socially and economically sustainable and accord with the development plan and the framework. The site is sustainably located within the town and the proposals represent an efficient use of the land."

It continues "It has been demonstrated the development will not have a detrimental impact on the local highway network, the trees on and around the site or to local ecology."

Planning Applications, Strategic Planning Board


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

Thursday 26th October 2017 at 11:39 am
So planning now means, "give us enough money" and you can do what you want.
Julie Smith
Thursday 26th October 2017 at 11:56 am
I truly believe that because there are objections to everything that is proposed in this area the powers that be have just stopped listening unfortunately! It's like the boy who cried wolf, battles should be chosen well or this is the result.
Janet Taylor
Thursday 26th October 2017 at 11:57 am
Absolutely ludicrous decision given the planned access, this is going to cause chaos for existing residents of Meriton Road and Hampson Crescent, I suspect few of the Planning Board are even aware of the issues it will cause. Does anybody actually read the objections or is it a number crunching exercise?
Sandra Cox
Thursday 26th October 2017 at 12:00 pm
Is anyone surprised? Jackie you have hit the nail on the head and thank you Toni for doing all you could to prevent this. Good to know there is a magic way to stop the development having 'a detrimental effect on the local highway network'.
Thursday 26th October 2017 at 12:03 pm
Janet, the Strategic Planning Board don't read the objections on the website - they read the report submitted by the Council which is supposed to weigh up the planning balance. In that report they list the objections. It is a moot point about whether their list is exhaustive.
Sheila Rovira
Thursday 26th October 2017 at 12:07 pm
From now on I will not waste my time in objecting on anything because it seems it was a done deal I was told over a year ago that it was already a done deal so please don't ask me again for any objections
Mark Goldsmith
Thursday 26th October 2017 at 12:30 pm
@Janet Taylor: it is not a number crunching exercise - its a cash generating exercise.

Cash for the landowners, cash for the developers, cash for the council too from extra council tax, New Homes Bonus, Community Infrastructure Levy and S106 money.

What voters (residents) want is therefore irrelevant. Just keep paying CE your council tax cash and they will keep ignoring you. That is until May 2019, when some nice man in a blue suit will knock on your door and pretend he listened to you and is opposed all these new estates, hoping you wont trawl through the council records to see how they actually voted.

Then repeat every four years until you decide to do something different and elect an independent councillor - one whose only concern is to enact their voters wishes as Toni Fox has done in this case.

Cllr Mark Goldsmith - Wilmslow Town Council, Residents of Wilmslow,
David Hoyle
Thursday 26th October 2017 at 2:34 pm
It would be nice if we were informed who on the planning board voted for and who voted against the development.
Lisa Reeves
Thursday 26th October 2017 at 2:41 pm
David - I understand 7 Conservatives and 1 Lib Dem councillor voted for. Whilst 2 Independents and 2 Labour councillors voted against.

Here's which committee members attended -
Julian Barlow
Thursday 26th October 2017 at 3:02 pm
Julie Lowe- Can you cite an example of when CEC did listen to the electorate and respond accordingly? If the public felt that their concerns were considered and addressed at least occasionally, then perhaps CEC wouldn't attract the outrage that it does.

As it is we're forced to pay for a council that is aloof, arrogant and out of touch.
Jon Williams
Thursday 26th October 2017 at 3:05 pm
I am glad my grandchildren don't have to grow up in C/E !
Julie Smith
Thursday 26th October 2017 at 4:34 pm
Julian Barlow- No I can't and I don't expect to ever be able to as long as everything proposed is objected to! Maybe if there hadn't been such vehement opposition to the retirement village, the retail development, the garden village, the Lidl/gym, to name a few I've read about in the past couple of years although I'm sure there are more! Then maybe the 400 objections to this Ill-conceived development may have been viewed a bit more seriously? Just my opinion.
Gina Thompson
Thursday 26th October 2017 at 5:38 pm
Julie Lowe - I don't think your proposal that people should only oppose one plan out of three or four plans is feesable. It would be helpful if we new how many objections had to be filed for CEC to take notice. We also ought to take note of the political parties the councillors who have ignored us represent and not vote for them in the future.
Deleted Account
Thursday 26th October 2017 at 6:17 pm
I am not sure whether the Clrs read this or pay any attention to what residents are saying but they should.

As Clr Toni Fox so succinctly says there were few sound reasons to vote for this development but it was still given the go ahead.

For those Clrs that did vote for it, hold your heads in shame.

And then come back to to Meriton Road and Hampson Crescent when construction is in full swing and then when the houses are occupied.

If you really do care, come and see for yourselves the mayhem that you have sanctioned.
Julie Smith
Thursday 26th October 2017 at 6:28 pm
Gina Thompson- I'm not suggesting that at all, I just think that by opposing EVERYTHING it dilutes the objections and eventually the decision makers stop taking us seriously. I think battles should be carefully chosen that's all!
Jon Newell
Thursday 26th October 2017 at 6:30 pm
For the record;

What is the definition of affordable housing?

Is it truly affordable to our young people?

And - much more importantly,

What are the safeguards to ensure the agreed level of affordable housing is delivered?

In my opinion, any development which fails to deliver the level of affordable housing promised in the planning application should suffer penal damages which exceed the profit made on the development.
Roger Bagguley
Thursday 26th October 2017 at 6:31 pm
Fascinating stuff:

SPB information papers list this as a Handforth site and a Handforth Councillor got to speak. But the site is in Wilmslow, Lacey Green and Styal Ward. Missing and silent as ever on this one is Ward Councillor Don Stockton. Think neighbours of this site with Wilmslow addresses would have appreciated some support in objecting to this from the start and throughout this painful process.
Buster Wild
Thursday 26th October 2017 at 6:31 pm
How many of the 75 affordable houses will be for sale under £250,000 and will all 75 be built, or will the developers simply slip, oh sorry, pay the ECC an amount of money in leu for every affordable house not built as has been reported done in the past. Could any councillor tell the ratepayers where this money goes to.
Jon Armstrong
Thursday 26th October 2017 at 7:29 pm
Julie - I completely agree... I've been trying to persuade some of this lot for years that when they kick up a massive fuss about every trivial change proposed it's hardly surprising nobody takes any notice when there is genuinely something serious to oppose.
Jon Williams
Thursday 26th October 2017 at 8:04 pm
"75 affordable houses"
Quite a few will be bought by Housing Associations and rented out, this is what's they mean by "affordable", it's happening on most new build estates now.
David Hoyle
Thursday 26th October 2017 at 9:15 pm
Roger. How can this be in Wilmslow and Lacey Green.It's at the bottom of Meriton Road.Are you not confusing it with the application for houses near Stanneylands Road.
Mark Goldsmith
Friday 27th October 2017 at 8:34 am
@Jon Newell. The legal definition of affordable houses sounds noble but in reality it is any property that is -20% of average values. Given average values are so high in Wilmslow, this means that the houses aren't that affordable to most people.

In reality what happens though is that developers claim to build "30% affordable homes" on the site. However, they build 30 x 1 bed flats in a few blocks taking up a tiny part of the land. These are usually sold on mass to a housing association, so bad luck if your children fancy buying one to leave home.

The other 90% of land is used to build 70 x four or five bedroom top priced houses. Therefore, 30% of the homes are "affordable" but it is less than 10% of the total bedroom space they actually build.

It is another of so, so many ways councils and developers twist things so they can dig up OUR green fields (yes OUR, because the council owns much of this land).
Richard Bullock
Friday 27th October 2017 at 9:16 am
David Hoyle: Look at the ward boundaries. The entire site apart from the entrance road is in Styal Parish, not Handforth. All of Styal Parish falls within the Wilmslow Lacey Green electoral ward - and so the entire site is in Wilmslow Lacey Green electoral ward.

Whoever drew the parish boundaries a few years ago when the parishes were introduced drew the Handforth/Styal boundary as the Dobbin Brook directly at the back of the houses on Hampson Crescent and Ullswater/Windermere Road. They obviously didn't expect Handforth to expand to the west.
Julie Smith
Friday 27th October 2017 at 11:48 am
I truly believe that because there are objections to everything that is proposed in this area the powers that be have just stopped listening unfortunately! It's like the boy who cried wolf, battles should be chosen well or this is the result.

Julian Barlow- No I can't and I don't expect to ever be able to as long as
everything proposed is objected to! Maybe if there hadn't been such vehement
opposition to the retirement village, the retail development, the garden
village, the Lidl/gym, to name a few I've read about in the past couple of
years although I'm sure there are more! Then maybe the 400 objections to
this Ill-conceived development may have been viewed a bit more seriously?
Just my opinion.

Gina Thompson- I'm not suggesting that at all, I just think that by opposing EVERYTHING it dilutes the objections and eventually the decision makers stop taking us seriously. I think battles should be carefully chosen that's all!
Friday 27th October 2017 at 12:13 pm
Roger - I think you are being a little unfair on Cllr Stockton re "missing and silent as ever". Recently he did speak over Cheshire East securing EU funding over something; - but then again that was nothing to do with his Ward, and nothing to do with developing large chunks of his Ward. It seems that he is not "silent" when there is something to boast about.
Friday 27th October 2017 at 12:23 pm
Mark re affordable houses, - apart from the issue of cost there is also the issue of design. Report after report stresses that in terms of build, colour of bricks, type of roof etc then the affordable houses will be identical to the rest in order that people will not know that these are the "affordable element". When it comes down to it the "affordable housing" is mainly flats, or terraced housing and it is invariably on the outer edge of these estates. It is, therefore, patently obvious to everyone which is the affordable housing.
Roger Bagguley
Friday 27th October 2017 at 3:28 pm
Thanks Richard for clearing up the Ward Boundary question for David. The point I raise Julie is not an objection just a point of fact. The site is in Wilmslow adding 250 houses on top of the 900 allocated to Wilmslow. People living in these houses will have Wilmslow addresses and will vote in Wilmslow, Lacey Green Ward. As Councillor Stockton has been consistently supportive of the Local Plan that has provided these houses then those finally living here may well vote for him. Don Stockton knows when to shout and when to shut up. A time served Local Politician and Cabinet Member. I say no more other than data tells us many more houses than are required will be built on what was until recently Green Belt.
Vic Barlow
Saturday 28th October 2017 at 7:07 am
When voters repeatedly elect the same council regardless of performance, credibility, integrity or capability it sends a clear message of approval.
Why would such a council be sensitive to public opinion? They have no need listen.
The culture in the town hall becomes one of arrogance and invincibility.
Sadly this is the result.
Rachel Darling
Saturday 28th October 2017 at 7:23 am
The affordable housing may be a mix of rented and homes for sale through shared ownership or help to buy. A shared ownership home worth £250,000 could be bought for £62,500 if you buy the minimum percentage of 25% which would be affordable to most people looking to get on the housing ladder. Rent is paid on the unowned percentage but these are heavily discounted rents and usually, because of low interest rates, the combination of rent and mortgage is less than renting at a market rent. Further shares can be purchased as you earn more making it ideal for first time young families. As someone who works for a housing association offering shared ownership, I know that the majority of shared ownership properties now being built are houses rather than flats as flats are far less popular with buyers. There may also be some rented flats but these are usually let at rents of 20% below market rents.
Kathryn Blackburn
Saturday 28th October 2017 at 8:22 am
Ms Lowe surely you cannot be advocating that each individual planning application not have objections raised by the people that have to live directly with each application's consequences. That would be undemocratic would it not ?
Ryan Dance
Sunday 29th October 2017 at 10:42 am
Well said Julie Lowe.

The anti-anything mob have lost the plot - their opposition is somewhat diluted. It might surprise the mob however i actually think they make some valid points. If they targeted their opposition a little more .... I would probably get behind them. However their unreasonable and absurd anti-anything policy does them little credit.

I've said it a million times ....even our cosy little affluent towns and villages need to move with the times.

I've seen everything on here from issues with flat roofs..... to road access roads.... building heights........affordable homes.....pepper-potting.... brownfield sites blah blah.

Kathryn - the comments / objections do not always come from people who live directly opposite. It's a fairly simple to check addresses of contributors. On this basis your statement is inaccurate.
Kathryn Blackburn
Sunday 29th October 2017 at 4:17 pm
Oh Ryan how I've missed you.
So do we read between the lines that you are of the opinion then that it is okay only for those living directly opposite to a development to comment/object to that planning application or is it that you are of the opinion that no one at all should ever comment/object to any planning application ? Either would be undemocratic which was kind of my point.
Greg Aspinall
Monday 30th October 2017 at 2:58 pm
Sorry to all who voiced their opposition to the 250 dwellings planned for this site (approx 400 written responses).
Sorry to all who are fearful of the repercussions of using Meriton Road as the sole entry / exit point, and the additional stress this will create in the centre of Handforth.

A huge thank you to Cllr Toni Fox, Cllr Barry Burkhill, Cllr Steven Hogben and Cllr Janet Jackson. You made a valiant stand in representing the views of so many residents in Handforth and area. It is unfortunate for us all that you were outvoted 8:4 at the Cheshire East Council Strategic Planning Group last week.

The section of the meeting given to this agenda item was approximately 2 hours. Joe Public was given only 3 minutes in total, to address the meeting. So much for valuing residents' opinions and preferences.

Together with most people I speak to, I am strongly in favour of the government's plan to increase the supply of housing stock nationally, but object to the excessive concentration, both housing and commercial, in Handforth. Cheshire County housing requirements, need to be equitably distributed throughout the county.

Cheshire East county is approx 40 miles in distance, north to south. In the most northerly 1 mile (i.e. Handforth) 20% of the county's new dwellings are to be built. Add to this Little Stanneylands, Dean Row, and Wilmslow. Adjoining us to the north will be Greater Manchester's 8000 new dwellings planned for in Heald Green, Seashell Trust site and Woodford. Add to all this the three commercial sites within the parish of Handforth which are planned to be increased in size. Result: excessively concentrated development.

Worry not! All is not lost!! We are told that educational provision, medical services, bus services (pardon????), train services, car parking, AND, WAIT FOR IT, the roads, will all be able to cope with the increase in number of residents, and traffic flow.

Once again, thank you to the four councillors who supported us, to the Handforth Parish Council who also supported us unanimously, and to all who made representations.

At least we tried.
Simon Worthington
Monday 30th October 2017 at 4:06 pm
So the 900 houses by 2030 have become several thousand plus all the boxes that GMC will be allowing on the borders. The flight has begun and will continue. I just hope that some dupe who buys one of the boxes on the basis of the excellent schools sues the builders, council et al when his sprog is told to bus it to Macc or Knutsford.
I moved from one over built, ruined village (Bramhall) almost 40 years ago to a pleasant country village and am making plans to do the same again.
Peter Davenport
Wednesday 1st November 2017 at 8:05 pm
Would it not be a surprise if Cheshire East do, what the Mayor of London has done, which is insist on a high percentage of houses to be built in London must be for first time buyers, who are young and starting out in life, which when they move up in the salary brackets, will be able to move to a bigger and more expensive house. These young people are their future bread, so it is about time that CE gets its act together.
Also in this area there are vast empty spaces of offices, which are open plan, ideal for small wooden prefabricated starter units could be fitted. How generous of some of these office owners/developers if they made some sort of donation to get these young couples on the housing ladder
Paul Hampton
Thursday 2nd November 2017 at 7:31 am
Of all of the planning applications put forward in and around Wilmslow over the last several years, the Stanneylands development made the least sense to me and has caused the most concern in terms of traffic and road safety during the construction period and beyond.

Julie makes an excellent point here. At the mere whisper of breaking ground anywhere around our town, our lamentable NIMBY brigade is out in force with their digital pitchforks and emotionally charged rhetoric often accompanied by insulting language about council members. When are they going to learn?

Moving forwards, lets take a more considered view please. Choosing our campaigns (not battles or fights you’ll notice!) carefully and be open to compromise where necessary.

We cannot afford to be anti-everything any longer. It doesn’t work. It’s counterproductive. It’s noise.
Kathryn Blackburn
Thursday 2nd November 2017 at 12:17 pm
Residents of Wilmslow have two councillors in office as a result of their 'campaign' Their particular sort of ' Noise' in my humble opinion not so 'counterproductive' then ?
Further I seem to recall that you support Styal Football Club and so would presume then that you live close by the Stanneylands development which would make you a fully paid up member of the NIMBY club yourself given your comment that development gives you 'most concern' would it not ?
Estelle Lewis
Friday 3rd November 2017 at 7:07 pm
Why bother with 'opinion polls' - it was always a forgone conclusion that these houses would be built ..... but no, go ask Joe (shmuck) Public to let him think his opinion matters.

Opinion Poll my rear end!