Plans to build a new residential development on the site of the former Knowle House on Sagars Road in Handforth have been refused.
Members of the Northern Planning Committee voted unanimously against the scheme from Morris Homes to build 26 dwellings, of which 13 were to be affordable, due to the harmful impact on the Green Belt.
Councillor Barry Burkhill spoke against the application and recommended refusal to the committee on the grounds of its Greenbelt status, following the recommendation of the planning case officer.
He said "The site is assessed as part of the Local Landscape Designation Study, formally Areas of Special County Value and it is now also located within the Bollin Valley Local Landscape Designation Area. It has been regenerating Greenbelt since the Macclesfield Borough Local Plan and Its status as Greenbelt was confirmed within the 2017 Cheshire East Local Plan, which stripped the Clay Lane/Sagars Road site of its precious Greenbelt status, allowing the disastrous development of 174 houses. It was therefore vital to defend Greenbelt on this other side of Sagars Road to prevent further loss to development along that stretch of land towards Styal."
He added "The draft Cheshire East Site Allocation and Development Policies Document (SADPD) does not include any further sites for development with Handforth. This document will be on the agenda for confirmation at the 19th April meeting of CEC. Allowing further housing development beyond what is already planned (including the Garden Village site for 1500 houses) would once again allow unplanned and uncontrolled development within our northern area of Cheshire East."
Twenty-two letters were received from local residents and interested parties objecting to the proposal on the following grounds: no more development is needed in this area; major disruption already being experienced due to adjacent housing development of 250 houses; local infrastructure cannot accommodate increase in population; increased traffic and risk to safety; loss of open space and inappropriate in the Green Belt.
Seven were received supporting the proposal for the following reasons: affordable housing is exactly what people need; the site needs developing as it is a blot on the landscape; ideal for young first time buyers; land has no visibility to the public, has no pasture or crop fields, no woodland and would have no material impact on its natural surroundings.
Handforth Parish Council had no objection to the plans stating "The site is brownfield and currently derelict, overgrown and an eyesore. The developer is proposing a 50% affordable homes allocation from 26 dwellings."
Styal Parish Council objected to the planning application on the grounds that the proposed development is on greenbelt land.
in a report prepared for the meeting the officer concluded "The introduction of 26 two-storey dwellings will result in substantial harm to the openness of this site and the wider Green Belt. This harm to the Green Belt is considered to be so substantial that it is not outweighed by the social benefits arising from the provision of 50% affordable dwellings and the identified enhancements to biodiversity."
Plans for a residential development of 20 dwellings and associated works on the site were refused in January 2014.