Decision looms on controversial Stanneylands development

A controversial planning application for a new residential development on land north of Stanneylands Road, behind Wilmslow Garden Centre, is scheduled to be determined next week.

David Wilson Homes is proposing to build approximately 174 homes on Green Belt land which is included in the Local Plan as a site suitable for up to 200 homes.

The scheme also includes a new roundabout onto Stanneylands Road, public open space, pedestrian/cycleway connection between Linneys Bridge and the River Dean and a new bridge crossing of the River Dean.

The accommodation includes eight 1 bedroom properties, nineteen with 2 bedrooms, thirty 3 bedroom properties and 112 properties with 4 bedrooms. The properties are made up of 24 apartments and 150 houses with each property having access to two off road parking spaces.

Cheshire East Council has received 815 letters objecting or commenting on the scheme.

Amongst the issues raised are: inadequate access into the site; increase in traffic and impact on highway safety; the proposed roundabout will not ease congestion; impact on drainage in the area; loss of trees; loss of Green Belt; over-development of the site and the footpath and cycle links should not cross local farmland.

Wilmslow Town Council's Planning Committee recommend refusal of this application on the grounds of inadequate access onto Stanneylands Road, stating that the primary access for the development should be directly from Manchester Road.

The Planning Officer is recommending that the Strategic Planning Committee approve the application at their meeting on Wednesday, 22nd November, subject to a Section 106 Agreement.

The report states "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.

"Cheshire East is currently able to demonstrate a 5 year supply of housing however this site is included within the 5 year supply and this proposal will make a valuable contribution in maintaining this position.

"The design and layout of the development are in accordance with the Cheshire East Design Guide and no issues have been identified in respect of overlooking or other amenity impacts.

"It has been demonstrated the development will not have a detrimental impact on the local highway network, the trees on and around the site, to local ecology. Although some matters must be dealt with by way of conditions at this stage.

"It is considered that the proposal represents sustainable development and accords with the development plan policies outlined in the report and national planning policy and guidance. Therefore for the reasons mentioned above the application is recommended for approval."

The Strategic Planning Committee meeting will take place at 10am on Wednesday, 22nd November at Macclesfield Town Hall.

Little Stanneylands, Planning Applications, Strategic Planning Board


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

Julian Barlow
Wednesday 15th November 2017 at 3:58 pm
"It has been demonstrated the development will not have a detrimental impact on the local highway network........" Because the local highway network is already at a stand still.

To believe that this development will have no impact on local highways is to believe a convenient lie.
Roger Thawley
Wednesday 15th November 2017 at 4:16 pm
We seem to have reached a point where every development of more than a few houses is considered by some to be controversial ....and the countries cost of housing crisis continues unabated. There are only so many 'brown-field' sites on which to build and those are often not viable for the type of developers with the capability to deliver mass housing development.
We have to recognise that overly restrictive planning regulations have delivered us a crisis in housing supply and cost. It's time to accept that it's necessary to allow the countries towns and villages to expand somewhat.
Julian Barlow
Wednesday 15th November 2017 at 4:36 pm
Roger Thawley- In a Utopian world of unlimited countryside we'd build mansions for everyone. Unfortunately we have a finite supply of green spaces and a local authority forever reminding us of their environmental credentials, taking every opportunity to shoehorn the word "sustainable" into every statement they make. If the general public rolled over every time CEC came up with an ill conceived development, the entire region would be under concrete.
Gavin Mendham
Wednesday 15th November 2017 at 4:56 pm
The planners state that the development is "in the town". Is all former Green Belt now in the town? What is the plan for infra structure? My letter of objection asked where are the children from these houses going to school? Lacey Green Primary and Wilmslow Academy (formerley Dean Oaks Primary) are full, as is Styal Primary. Wilmslow High is full. Where are the people going to work? What jobs are there in Wilmslow? What medical and social services are available? Traffic cannot move now at peak times, how will people travel? There are no bus services, and the trains are crowded, at peak times.?

Is it true that Wilmslow Cheshire East Councillors voted for the removal of the Green Belt? Is it ok to live in a continuous Heald Green/ Handforth/Wilmslow/ Airport?

Is this a housing policy driven by need or a financial market? Who is this housing for? What income brackets?
Sandra Cox
Wednesday 15th November 2017 at 5:00 pm
Roger Thawley - the expansion of towns and villages needs to be in tandem with new schools, medical facilities and roads. CE have not dealt with this, they have just granted permission for thousands of houses most of which have 4/5/6 bedrooms. The brownfield sites are often near town centres and would be ideal for starter homes but no incentive has been given to developers to build on these sites. We need joined-up thinking here not massive building which is profitable for the developers and CE but a deterioration of amenities to local residents which will be of dramatic proportions.
Roger Thawley
Wednesday 15th November 2017 at 5:08 pm
Julian Barlow - I don't see anyone suggesting that we build everyone 'mansions'. What we do need is a more pragmatic compromise on where to build. The country isn't short on green space; the amount of land occupied by 'infrastructure' is in single digits. Those who perpetually throw up barriers to building are part of the problem.
Anna Meadmore
Wednesday 15th November 2017 at 5:27 pm
It seems to me that planning applications are a total waste of time, because unnecessary over-development goes ahead anyway. Even if Cheshire East rejects an application, it then goes on appeal to the planning inspectorate in Bristol (who do not have to live here with the consequences) and it then is passed. Do Cheshire East take no notice whatsoever of all the many considered objections to this proposal? We are the residents who pay their Council Tax, and there should be significant recognition of that.
Mark Russell
Wednesday 15th November 2017 at 5:44 pm
Our council has zero credibility. How can extra houses not have an impact on local traffic. Which ever idiot wrote this should be sacked and taken to court for out right lies.
Richard Slater
Wednesday 15th November 2017 at 8:35 pm
Is it me, or are all the Conservative Councillors voting in everything on the Local Plan and Greenbelt sites, it seems almost to be an instruction from Westminster, did wonder why Esther McVey & David Rutley MP have just been promoted to whips.

One big issue is of course the Pollution, and it appears from the emails below that the Leader of the Council Rachel Bailey & Ainsley Arnold were both aware of the manipulated pollution figure as early as 21st July 2017, but did not share this information with the rest of the Councillors voting to adopt The Local Plan on 27th July, the information was released on 28th July after the vote, so effectively the Local Plan vote could potentially be invalid.

Sent: 17 October 2017 10:53
Subject: Full council meeting

Hi Julie

Thanks for taking my call, please find my question below.

Which individuals at Cheshire East Council, including Executives, Officers and Councillors were involved in the formulation, planning and dissemination and delivery of the Cheshire East Council press release issued on Friday 28 July 2017 at around 16:00hrs relating to the manipulation of air pollution figures by Cheshire East Council. What date and time was the creation of the release first disgust and which individuals took the decision to release the information after the Local Plan adoption vote on 27 July 2017.

Many thanks

Richard Slater

Dear Mr Slater,

I refer to the question which you supplied to my colleague Julie North on 17th October, and respond as follows.

Firstly, I must make it clear that the alterations to the air quality data were undertaken by a yet unidentified individual (or individuals) who acted without the knowledge or instruction of the Council. The investigation carried out was to identify what figures had been altered so that they could be corrected, to identify who altered the data and, if possible, why.

The Council does not record the time and date that a draft press statement is first discussed, nor who contributes to its drafting. However, from our records it appears that an initial draft statement was prepared during the week ending the 21st July 2017. The draft was revised over the following week and a final draft was produced on the 27th July for approval by senior officers and members. The following individuals were involved in its drafting and/or approval:

Kath O’Dwyer – Acting Chief Executive
Sean Hannaby – Director of Planning & Sustainable Development
Fiona Reynolds - Director of Public Health
Natalie Robinson - Business Manager, Corporate Services
Michael Moore - Acting Corporate Manager, Communications and Media
Cllr. Rachel Bailey - Leader of the Council
Cllr. Ainsley Arnold – Portfolio Holder for Housing, Planning and Regeneration

The air quality statement was released as soon as it was possible to do so, factoring in a complex series of actions that needed to be undertaken including ensuring that the staff in the team had been appropriately briefed, HR processes had been commenced, key officers and members had been briefed and local MPs informed. As such, Friday 28th July was the earliest opportunity to do so following its approval on the afternoon of the 27th July.

Brian Reed | Head of Governance and Democratic Services
Cheshire East Council | 01270 686670 |
Pete Taylor
Wednesday 15th November 2017 at 8:52 pm
Richard, the die was cast back on 28 February 2014, when the four Conservative Councillors voted with their Party and against the expressed wishes of their electorate to remove Green Belt protection from Wilmslow and Handforth; scroll down to Amendment 1. We can only speculate why they did this. Other have mentioned corruption and back-handers with the developers. I would not know; I seriously hope this is not the case.
Bob Jones
Wednesday 15th November 2017 at 9:57 pm
Am I cynical in wondering whether the planning officer’s recommendation has been informed by a live traffic census (as opposed to a desktop? study) and accurate, recent air quality measurements which take account of varying weather conditions?

No doubt the planning meeting will question this.
Lynne Prescott
Wednesday 15th November 2017 at 11:29 pm
Roger, it’s not so much the fact that they are building homes, but that they have plans to build enormous quantities of new housing in a small area, while resolutely refusing to address the pressures on roads, services, schools medical access etc. Having lived in this area for 17 years ( and I am sure I am a Newbie compared to some of the people on here) I have seen the impact that increasing population has already had on infrastructure and services and it is simply not credible that putting upwards of 4000 new homes, mostly 4 bed detached family homes, in an area of a couple of square miles, will have no impact on already stretched amenities and infrastructure. If we saw some bold thinking in terms of town planning - a new commuter rail station into Manchester, with ample park and ride, new schools and expanded medical/ dental services ( instead of current plans to reduce the scope of Handforth clinic and outpatient services and force residents to travel to Macclesfield) and a real focus on genuinely affordable housing and social housing, then I think we’d all feel a little more relaxed about new building. As it is, we are depressed by the lack of strategic thinking and boggled by the combination of incompetence, shadiness and magical thinking coming from our elected council
Ryan Dance
Thursday 16th November 2017 at 8:17 am
well said roger!

Whether you like it or not....a large chunk of the new housing stock is now occupied. Clearly demonstrating sufficient demand.

Are you kidding on the new commuter rail link? Where would this be built? Perhaps on the leisure centre site? In fact...where would you like all the new services built? Should we start building upwards to save the greenbelt? Cities in the Sky? I have definitely seen comments on here objecting to new develomements over 3 or 4 stories (I think)

Cheshire East do indeed need to hold the developers to account....CIL tax etc. The truth is....the more they burden the developers with red tape and increased costs..the higher the final sale price per unit built
Lynne Prescott
Thursday 16th November 2017 at 4:57 pm
Ryan, I never mentioned greenbelt - that's your preoccupation! In fact I said that bolder plans, even on greenbelt, would be better and more sustainable... and if CEC would cooperate with Stockport, then it happens that the railway line runs near the Seashell Trust land that is also earmarked for housing (even though its not counted in my figures)and could have direct access to A34 and SEMMS, taking a very significant amount of traffic off the roads... if either council had any integrated vision about building for the future
Stuart Redgard
Saturday 18th November 2017 at 7:04 pm

I wish to correct a factual inaccuracy in your report.

David Wilson Homes ARE NOT proposing to build approximately 174 homes on Green Belt land. This piece of land was formally removed from the Green Belt by Cheshire East Council following a vote to adopt the Local Plan Strategy on 27th July 2017.

See your own article found at
Stuart Redgard
Wednesday 22nd November 2017 at 10:55 pm
I attended the Strategic Planning Board held earlier today and can confirm the following.

After about 2 hours and 45 minutes of discussing this application a proposal of "Deferral of a decision to a later meeting” was proposed by Councillor Toni Fox and seconded by Councillor Steven Hogben. The reasons for deferral being the provision of more detailed information.

The proposal was passed by 6 votes to 5

For the proposal (6)
Councillor Toni Fox (Residents of Wilmslow)
Council Steven Hogben (Labour)
Councillor Barry Burkhill (Handforth Ratepayers)
Councillor Janet Jackson (Labour)
Councillor Mike Sewart (Conservative)
Councillor Sarah Pochin (Conservative)

Against the proposal (5)
Councillor Gill Merry (Conservative)
Councillor John Hammond (Conservative)
Councillor Lesley Smetham (Conservative)
Councillor Steven Edgar (Conservative)
Councillor Derek Hough (Liberal Democrats)