Plans for development of new Garden Village in Handforth submitted

Plans detailing the proposals for the development of the Garden Village at Handforth have been submitted by Engine of the North, the property company owned by Cheshire East Council.

The hybrid planning application comprises of two parts:

• Part 1 - Outline Planning Application, including: demolition works, around 1,500 new homes, new employment uses, new mixed-use local village centre, new green infrastructure and associated infrastructure. (All of the detailed matters such as appearance, means of access, landscaping, layout and scale will be subject to subsequent approval).

• Part 2 - Full Planning Application for initial preparation and infrastructure works including: ground remediation, re-profiling and preparation works, highway works, drainage works, utilities works, replacement A34 bridge works, green infrastructure works and other associated infrastructure.

The proposal is to create one of the fourteen national Garden Villages on a 121ha site located to the east of the Wilmslow-Handforth Bypass (A34) and south of Manchester Airport Eastern Link Road (A555) in Handforth.

The scheme includes 1,500 homes (30% of which will be affordable housing) employment opportunities, a mixed-use local centre, primary school and a network of open spaces and designed to create a '21st Century Garden Village'.

The dwellings will be made up of :

• High density neighbourhoods shall be located close to and south of the village centre. This area shall consist of a series of interconnecting mews, streets and lanes enclosed by two, two and a half and three storey townhouses and small apartment blocks. Some semi-detached and detached properties shall be used in these areas to add variety and be used as landmarks or header buildings.

• Medium density neighbourhoods provide a transition to between the higher density housing in the core of the site and the lower density housing on the eastern and southern fringes of the site. These areas shall consist of a balanced mix of townhouse, semi-detached and detached properties with the majority being of two storeys in height.

• Low density neighbourhoods provide the interface between areas of green space and residential. These areas will consist of primarily two storey properties, including a small proportion of semi-detached homes with the majority being detached homes.

• Rural density housing areas are located primarily in the south eastern corner of the Garden Village adjacent to the open countryside. The density here is very low and similar to that found in surrounding villages. Homes will be detached in form, all two storey in height and set into extensive gardens or wooded landscapes.

It is currently envisaged that The Garden Village will provide affordable homes comprising 1, 2 or 3 bedrooms of a mixed tenure along with mid-market family homes providing 2, 3, 4 or 5 bedrooms and some larger 'executive' homes, providing 3, 4, 5 or 6 bedrooms.

Employment uses will include the existing MoD offices to the north of the village heart, along with new employment sites adjoining the MoD site and between the existing Total Fitness Leisure complex and the high street. Additionally office accommodation shall also be incorporated into the village high street.

The application explains that at this stage it is necessary to retain flexibility over its future use to generate market interest but it is envisaged that the centre could contain a small-scale foodstore, newsagent, medical centre, pharmacy, community centre, nursery, restaurant, pub, cafe, offices or other community services and facilities.

As part of the local centre a two-form entry primary school is proposed at the eastern end of the high street which will contain sports provision and could also include community uses such as a village hall or community meeting rooms.

Recreational areas include cycle paths, a country park, woodland, orchard, community allotments and sports and leisure provision such as trim trails, jogging and running circuits.

As part of the scheme Dairy House Farm, which is a Grade II Listed Building currently in a state of disrepair, will be brought back to use.

The application states that the repairs and refurbishment of Dairy House Farmhouse will seek to reinstate original features, including the original timber mullion and transoms windows as detailed within the Historic England listing description, use Kerridge stone slates and stone ridges in roof repairs and use reclaimed brickwork in repairs, where feasible and where materials are in an appropriate condition.

As part of the site's allocation for development under Local Plan Strategy Site Allocation LPS33, the Green Belt designation that once included the site has been rolled back to the area north of Spath Lane.

The plans can be viewed on Cheshire East Council's planning portal by searching for placing reference 19/0623M. The deadline for submitting comments is 13th June and a decision is expected by 4th September.

Handforth Garden Village, Planning Applications


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

Michael Thorley
Saturday 18th May 2019 at 8:05 am
This is a very large application with many addenda. If you have a particular interest in aspects of it e.g. transport, access, health services then look at that particular section and comment. There is a new council and thus there will be a new planning committee so it's definitely worth voicing comments in order to create the best possible outcome.
Deleted Account
Sunday 19th May 2019 at 9:36 am
This much vaunted new 'Garden Village'...I mean, it's really a big housing estate off the A34 isn't it?

Of the A34 ( & maybe I missed it when ploughing through all the information ) but with all the extra houses are there plans to widen the road, again ?
Roger Bagguley
Sunday 19th May 2019 at 9:20 pm
Thank you Michael Thorley.

My paricular interest is for secondary education provision but all required infrastructure provision needs to be clearly outlined in advance. This needs to include additional infrastructure needs in local settlements such as parking provision in Wilmslow for starters. The existing 'Suck it and see' Cheshire East Policy on infrastructure simply will not do any more. With two or three thousand houses coming immediately on the Greater Manchester side of the new A555 it is time for some serious joint council planning.

All of this is being monitored by RoW. Infrastructure provision is high on the agenda for people canvassed in the run up to the local election.
Andrew Backhouse
Wednesday 22nd May 2019 at 3:21 pm
30% affordable housing? The government's definition of this is laughable. Where is the social housing that is needed?
Carol Shawcross
Wednesday 22nd May 2019 at 8:25 pm
Roger sums it up perfectly!
Thanks for all of ROWs hard work
David Smith
Wednesday 22nd May 2019 at 11:04 pm
“From our own correspondent” broadcast 18th May 2019 has a report about how the property situation in Portugal has become massively distorted by ‘outsiders’ buying up property - listen at the link: about 21:45 into the programme. In the UK many areas have had property values soar because rich out-of-towners have bought second homes, which are generally empty for most of the year. Locals on average wages cannot afford to buy with prices out of reach. Well, the same sort of thing is now happening on an international scale - rich foreigners are buying second homes as a ‘bolthole’ in a ‘safe’ country in case the situation in their own country becomes intolerant or bought as an investment and used as holiday homes for friends or on Air B&B.
What I would like to know is - what limitations are there on developments like this ‘Garden Village’ to have them only available for UK residents? You know, people such as YOUR children/grandchildren. The people who are needed to live within our community to make it function - police, teachers, hospital workers and the like. Another marketing ploy of this part of the Northwest is that it has easy access to the major motorways in the region and thereby suggesting that it is feasible to live around here and drive to your place of work. Well the roads are clogged up enough and it is no solution to suggest we build any more. The solution to the busy roads is to not allow any more housing developments such as this.
I hear there is someone from Singapore living in Wilmslow whose job is to seek housing for people not from the UK. Why do we allow this pressure on our housing stock that can only make it more difficult for YOUR children/grandchildren to ‘get on the property ladder’? I hate that phrase but everyone knows what it means. Since we are still in the EU we cannot stop anyone from the EU buying homes here in the UK, but why on earth do we allow the likes of rich Russians, Chinese and Africans to come here with their wealth and buy whatever homes they wish and then use them intermittently?
Theresa May did little to stop non-EU nationals coming to the UK when she was Home Secretary.
Severely restricting the purchase of UK homes by non-UK citizens is for me a reason for Brexit so we can start to sort out the housing crisis that exists for UK nationals.
This ‘Garden Village’ concept is just too silly an idea and is just another bonanza for the likes of the large house-building companies such as Persimmon that recently paid its CEO a £750m bonus. See the link:
Alan Brough
Thursday 23rd May 2019 at 9:25 am
Putting aside the obvious requirement for an impact plan on surrounding infrastructure and services (bearing in mind that the project was submitted on the basis of falsified air quality data), there should be more scrutiny of the NEED for such a development.

Whilst the Planners and Developers sketch a pretty picture of this eighth wonder of the modern world, I’m not sure that we actually need The Hanging Gardens of Handforth and I share the concerns of David Smith that any benefit may be directed elsewhere, whilst we pay a hefty price in diminution of services and general wellbeing.
David Smith
Thursday 23rd May 2019 at 8:30 pm
Thanks Alan. I suppose it is a hangover from the Conservative wallies who have run Cheshire east for so long. We still have some of them 'hanging on' because too many people round here can't bear to vote for any other 'party'. We can only hope that the non-conservative 'coalition will see sense and sort out such unwanted projects by stopping them. I have done a few train journeys recently around Manchester and it is surprising when you look out of the window just how much derelict and unused brown-field site land there is in the Grater Manchester area. On top of this it is also quite sad just how awful is much of the housing than appears out there. It would seem that when we do build homes we just can't get it right ANYWHERE! Try it for your self sometime - looking out instead of fiddling with your phones.
Robert Collins
Wednesday 29th May 2019 at 7:49 pm
Oh my this is so depressing! Why can't these planners see that carpeting Handforth with so many houses is going to hugely affect the quality of life for all of us, new residents included.

It's just not sustainable to keep building, building.. You only have to go shopping at Handforth Dean on a weekend to see how rammed it is already, to say nothing of the pressure on all our public services. We need to break this spiral. The proposed site has been left to rewild over several years now and could be such a fantasic green space for local residents - it's well established that we all need a break in the constant view of bricks, mortar, roads, cars etc from time to time for our general wellbeing.

We already have a 'Garden Village' just a stone's throw at Woodford. Why another so close? 1500 homes = 3000 cars .. come on new Council, let's see some brave decision making for your local communities here!