Decision due on controversial plans for 65 bedroom care home

Controversial plans to demolish two detached residential properties in Wilmslow and erect a care home are scheduled to be determined by the Northern Planning Committee next week.

Altrincham based New Care Project are seeking planning permission to demolish two four bedroomed houses in large plots at 51 to 53 Handforth Road in Wilmslow and replace them with a 65 bedrooms care home with associated landscaping, car parking and access.

The application is to be presented at a meeting of the Northern Planning Committee on Wednesday, 10th April, because it has been 'called-in' to committee at the request of Cllr Barry Burkhill who raised the following concerns "The application has created significant and extensive local concern. It will create precedence for other houses in this area on both sides of the road in an area of large, low density, detached properties, widely separated, set in their own grounds and will inappropriately alter the character of the area. There is concern about overlooking a large car parking area and the parking provided does not meet parking standards, particularly at peak times."

New Care Project applied in March 2018 to replace the two detached properties with an 83-bedroom three storey care home but this application is currently subject to an appeal.

The planning application was originally scheduled to be considered by the planning committee in May 2018 but was then postponed until their June meeting, then the July one. The applicants have since appealed on the grounds of 'non-determination' of the application because the local authority had not issued a decision within the time-frame.

Wilmslow Town Council's initial comments relating to the originally submitted plans, were "Wilmslow Town Council's Planning Committee recommend refusal of this application on the grounds of overdevelopment of the site and being out-of-keeping with the area. Parking provision is also inadequate and the proposed development will be overbearing on neighbouring properties resulting in loss of privacy. In addition, the transport statement is no longer accurate."

Following the amended plans the following comments were submitted: "Wilmslow Town Council's Planning Committee remains of the view that this application is overdevelopment of the site out-of-keeping with the area. still inadequate and the proposed development will be overbearing on neighbouring properties resulting in loss of privacy."

Representations were also received from 50 properties prior to the submission of the revised plans. The main objections raised were: lack of car parking, highway safety issues due to the increase in traffic; doctors surgeries in the area will be overwhelmed and there is not a need in the area for additional care homes as there is a derelict one in the centre of Handforth.

Local residents also objected on the grounds of: loss of light and overlooking of adjacent neighbours; the building will be out of character with the surrounding area which contains mainly two storey detached dwellings and in order to construct the development a number of mature trees would have to be destroyed altering the local landscape and wildlife of this area.

A further 34 properties commented again following the reconsultation after the amended plans were submitted. The comments raise the same concerns as the initial round of objections.

However, the Planning Officer has concluded that "While the objections are noted, the proposed scheme is considered to be acceptable".

In his report for the Northern Planning Committee the Planning Officer states "the development will provide suitable accommodation to enable an ageing population within Cheshire East to live full independent lives for as long as possible. It is considered that the proposal would make a valuable contribution towards meeting an identified housing need for elderly people within the Borough, as well as continuity in their care, which is a material consideration of significant weight. The impact on European Protected Species and other ecological interests has been assessed by the nature conservation officer and is acceptable.

"The proposal accords with the relevant ecology policies in the local plan and national guidance in the Framework. There is not considered to be any reason, having regard to the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010, to withhold planning permission in this case. Similarly, the proposal also raises no significant visual, highway safety, amenity, design or flooding issues, and complies with relevant local and national planning policies. A number of economic benefits will also arise from the development including additional trade for local business and the creation of employment. Bearing all the above points in mind, it is considered that the proposal accords with all other relevant Development Plan policies and as such it is recommended the application be approved, subject to relevant conditions and a s106 contribution to healthcare."

If the application is approved a Section 106 Agreement should include a healthcare contribution of £31,324.00.

The plans can be viewed on the Cheshire East Council Planning Portal by searching for planning reference 18/4024M.

Handforth Road, Northern Planning Committee, Planning Applications


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

Terry Roeves
Tuesday 2nd April 2019 at 6:51 pm
19 bed nursing home currently for sale on Adlington Rd Wilmslow.
So that’s two lower cost investments available on a much shorter timescale.
And let’s not forget the care village development adjacient to Handforth Dean.
Occupancy won’t be exclusively for elderly residents of Cheshire East. Like most of the new builds, where buyers are from out of town and working in Great Manchester. This was a serious objection that caused a refusal several years ago to the Handforth Dean Care Village development. Locals won’t be given first call.
WTC and Handforth Council are right to object.
But there would be no more s106 money for CEC, which is quite likely why the plan will be passed - probably on Chairman’s casting vote.
However, good luck Cllr Burkhill.
Jon Williams
Tuesday 2nd April 2019 at 7:23 pm
Lets hope it gets the go ahead, with Hillside being closed and for sale now
Bill Bennett
Wednesday 3rd April 2019 at 5:44 pm
If the Council has identified a housing need for the elderly, why has Cypress House, a purpose built care home, lying empty. Why not use that building?
Furthermore, Jones Homes are building a large village for the elderly less than a mile from this building.

No significant visual, really! A three storey building building less than 10 feet away from a two storey house. This building will be lit up 24 hours per day, the neighbours on all sides will suffer terribly.

Highway safety will not be a problem, really! Let’s hope none of the dozens of schoolchildren passing this proposed site everyday to attend one of the two primary schools in the area are involved in any accidents with traffic entering or leaving this site.

This is a commercial development, being built in a residential area. Many of the objections related to a change of use, which I believe is a requirement for this development. I would be grateful for the case officers comments in this regard. Has the developer applied for a change of use?

There are not sufficient parking spaces for this development under the councils own rules. This very same council refused planning permission for a proposed residents development less than 300yards from this site due to the lack of parking. That being the case, I would like to know, why this same planning department are bending their own rules in this case and why the
resident was refused permission, if parking rules are not important.

This proposed development will operate 24/7, the residents in this area have a right to peaceful enjoyment of their properties, why has the planning officer not considered residents.

All in all, any person would wonder what induced the planning officer to recommend this over development if it goes ahead.

I and many other residents have been to all of the meetings when planning permission was unanimously refused. I personally cannot see any reason why our elected officials would change their votes.
Yvonne Howson
Wednesday 3rd April 2019 at 6:17 pm
If this is for a nursing home, as opposed to retirement apartments, it can only be a good thing. There is only one nursing home in Wilmslow, Hazelmere, owned by BUPA. The demand for nursing beds has always been high locally, with local people having to move into care in other areas. More choices might stop the rise in ridiculously excessive charges for nursing care.
Geoff Ferguson
Thursday 4th April 2019 at 11:48 am
I agree with Bill Bennett's comments, this is a commercial development, that is not needed, in a residential area and will cause nothing but problems should permission be granted.

These will start from day one with contractors parking, site access, damage to the newly refurbished road, construction noise then when finally complete there will be further parking and access problems.

Lets hope permission is refused once and for all