Lack of affordable housing delays plans to redevelop derelict hotel

Plans to demolish the County Hotel and redevelop the site were scheduled to be determined by the Northern Planning Committee today (Wednesday, 9th May). However, the application was withdrawn from the agenda.

Councillor Craig Browne, who sits on the Northern Planning Committee as Vice Chair, explained "The County Hotel application was withdrawn from the agenda to allow officers more time to discuss potential affordable provision (which was the main reason refusal was recommended) with the applicant."

Harden Park Garden Limited has applied to demolish the existing three storey building and erect three residential blocks at the Harden Park site, which lies within within the North Cheshire Green Belt. The scheme consists of 26 two bedroom apartments along with 64 car parking spaces.

The planning officer had recommended the plans for refusal because the proposal does not include any onsite affordable housing, for which "there is a clear, proven need", and there was a lack of information regarding the impact on the bat roost potential of the trees.

In order to meet the Council's Policy on Affordable Housing there is a requirement for 8 dwellings to be provided as affordable dwellings. However, the applicant was proposing to use a commuted sum in lieu of onsite affordable housing provision.

The current number on the Cheshire Homechoice waiting list with Alderley Edge as their first choice is 143.

Councillor Craig Browne added "I expect the application to come back to committee on 6th June."

County Hotel, Northern Planning Committee


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

Barry Stafford
Wednesday 9th May 2018 at 4:17 pm
Again money arrogant of these builders to ignore cheaper housing for young people, for more flats, and to chip in money to the S106 kitty for Ches.East to squander. Over 120 flats will have been completed at that end of Holly Rd.Alderley Rd Chapel lane. cheapest £320,000 for a 1 bedroom. Many of these havnt been sold. Hope the plans are kicked out and insist on 50/50 split .Not just 8 affordable homes..Baz
Laurie Atterbury
Wednesday 9th May 2018 at 4:44 pm
I take it that most, by definition, are unaffordable then?
Fiona Doorbar
Thursday 10th May 2018 at 11:10 am
Living in a certain area should be something to strive and work towards IMO. I agree that there should be a minimal level of affordable housing but at the rate that all of these developments are being built we will both devalue existing properties and give our kids nothing to aim for if it’s handed on a plate. I have had to work my way up the property ladder to live in this area and am privileged to do so.
Robert Taylor
Thursday 10th May 2018 at 7:59 pm
Fiona Doorbar your comments are poppycock and go against most urban research on communities which is found variously (in town planning texts, journals etc.) confirms MIXED communities are far better for social balance. In the old-days when councils actually had the autonomy to provide for housing needs in their own authority (before the mid to late 1970s) and there was actually a housing supply the rough balance of social (AKA council houses) to speculative housing was 50-50 in which case Barry Stafford's comment would be fairly on the money so to speak.
Oliver Romain
Friday 11th May 2018 at 6:18 am
Hey Fiona, why not build a wall around the area and install checkpoints. Keep the riff-raff out and increase house prices. Hurrah!
Matt Jones
Friday 11th May 2018 at 10:53 am
Fiona, many young people like myself who have grown up here and worked here our entire adult lives pour life into an otherwise ageing community.

My family, friends, career all centre around Wilmslow. I have been paying into the local economy my entire life so for you in other words to say I don’t deserve to live here is outrageous.
Oliver Romain
Friday 11th May 2018 at 1:59 pm
Hey Matt, well said, but there is life in us ‘oldies’ yet! It’s interesting the lengths people will go to to protect their middle class version of what this area should be like. Whether it’s stopping a car wash or insisting that so called affordable housing is built elsewhere. Wilmslow is an old mill town and only became gentrified with the introduction of the railway. It used to be full of factory workers. Towns change and develop. That’s life.
Matt Jones
Friday 11th May 2018 at 3:30 pm
Hey Oliver, exactly! The way for towns to survive and flourish is to change and adapt with the times.

Also yes, speaking on behalf of older members of my family etc you’re right there’s plenty of life and activity put into the area by most “oldies” :-)