Decision due on plans to replace five buildings with ten houses

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Plans to demolish the existing buildings and erect 10 dwellings with associated garages, parking, gardens, access and landscaping at Little Stanneylands will be determined by the Northern Planning Committee next week.

The scheme will replace the existing buildings with seven 4-bedroom detached homes along with three 5-bedroom family homes on a one hectare located immediately south of the large residential development whiich currently under construction.

There are currently five existing buildings on site, comprising three single storey stable buildings, a small stable block and a large two-storey barn with mezzanine floor which was used for storage.

Wilmslow Town Council recommended refusal of this planning application on the grounds of being out-of-keeping with the character of the Grade II Listed Building within its immediate vicinity and fails to provide adequate affordable housing within the proposed scheme.

Objections have been received from approximately 40 addresses, issue raised included: the 174 homes adjacent to the site have changed the nature of the area, the development does not meet housing needs; including affordable homes; impact of development on protected trees and wildlife; area has insufficient infrastructure, including school places and access road to the site is unsuitable and there are too many entrances onto Stanneylands Road in quick succession.

The planning officer has recommended the application for approval at the meeting of the Northern Planning Committee on Wednesday, 23rd February.

The planning offer stated "The application site comprises a vacant, previously developed site in a sustainable location, with good access to a range of local services and facilities and has good public transport links. The proposed development would add to the stock of housing in the local area. The proposal provides a locally distinctive design, which also raises no significant highway safety, ecological or flood risk concerns, and does not raise any significant concerns in terms of the impact of the development upon the living conditions of neighbours. The application is considered to result in less than substantial harm to the listed buildings and their setting.

"Nevertheless, the proposal would include a number of public benefits. On balance, the provision of new housing within a sustainable location on part of an allocated site, two of which would be affordable would outweigh the harm to the listed buildings. The application is recommended for approval."

The plans can be viewed on the Cheshire East Council website by searching for planning reference 20/4737M.

Editors note: This article was updated and corrected on Thursday 17th due to my error in connecting this to planning application 21/4264M for the conversion of the nearby dwelling and its outbuildings into ten separate dwellings, which was withdrawn in October 2021.

Little Stanneylands, Northern Planning Committee


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

Helen Williams
Tuesday 15th February 2022 at 8:50 pm
Does the planning officer ever not recommend approval for a development in this area?
Julian Barlow
Wednesday 16th February 2022 at 8:23 am
This is a ludicrous application. The premise appears to be that the applicant sold off the land surrounding his Grade 2 listed home for housing development, and now those new houses are spoiling the privacy. It's as if the land sold itself.

And guess what? The only way that this can be rectified would be to permit additional development around the grade 2 listed building, further ruining any remaining privacy for the houses adjoining the area.

There are dozens valid reasons why this application should be rejected, but unsurprisingly it's being recommended for approval.
Mark Goldsmith
Wednesday 16th February 2022 at 3:36 pm
Hi Helen

Yes they do reject plenty, but you don't see them as they almost never go to committee.

What happens is the councillor asks for an application to be decided by committee at the start of the process. Then, the planning officer reviews the application and decides to approve or refuse it.

If they want to refuse it, then they ask the councillor if they still want the committee to make the decision. Doing this would come with a small risk they group might approve it or most likely, it would just waste everyone's time.

Therefore, you only hear about the ones planning officers recommend and not all the ones they refuse.

This happened to me today for an application for a new house in someone's garden in Wilmslow. It will be refused, wont now go to the Northern Planning Committee and so doesn't make the press.

Cllr Mark Goldsmith
Residents of Wilmslow
Wilmslow West & Chorley
Sheila Grindrod
Wednesday 16th February 2022 at 3:43 pm
What else can we expect from the servants of the people on the planning committee they do not consider how it affects the majority rather look towards the few no matter how many objections.
Robert Taylor
Wednesday 16th February 2022 at 4:16 pm
Most local decisions are based on the development plan which in turn has to align with National Policy (the NPPF). This national policy is usually influenced by the agenda of the government in power. So it is a case of if you believe planning laws are too relaxed vote for a different MP/government the next opportunity you have.
Roger Bagguley
Wednesday 16th February 2022 at 4:33 pm
Sheila: Given the officer is recommending approval, despite the harms indicated in the article above, the members of the Northern Planning Committee remain the best opportunity available to have this application refused. Thus, the local councillor, supported by Residents of Wilmslow (RoW), will be fighting hard to convince these members to act on the evidence presented and turn this application down.
Simon Rodrigues
Wednesday 16th February 2022 at 5:07 pm
Whats the point, in our planning departments and Wilmslow Town Council. ?
Stuart Redgard
Wednesday 16th February 2022 at 5:29 pm
#Mark Goldsmith
Well said

#Robert Taylor
Well said

#Roger Bagguley
The officer is recommending refusal

#Simon Rodrigues
What's the point in anything?
You choose to live in the UK which is based on the implementation and operation of a legal system and the democratic process of national and local government.

No taxes = no law and anything goes.
Stuart Redgard
Wednesday 16th February 2022 at 5:40 pm
#Roger Bagguley

Sorry Roger I was wrong and you were right. I had a small bleed on the brain 3 weeks ago and it seems that its effects haven't worn off yet!
Paul Millett
Wednesday 16th February 2022 at 5:54 pm
'Good public transport links' ? Perhaps he is thinking of the Metro when it gets to Lacey Green!
Roger Bagguley
Wednesday 16th February 2022 at 9:04 pm

Good to read you on this blog. I just had a pa if moment.

Take care.
Nigel Halford
Thursday 17th February 2022 at 11:36 am
As far as I am aware this proposal to redeveloped the existing houses was withdrawn on 29 October 2021. Planning application 21/4264M.

Planning application 20/4737M Demolition of existing building and erection of 10 dwellings with garages, parking and gardens is the current application still alive at this location.

It seems the owner of the property not satisfied with selling their land for the construction of 170 homes also wants another couple of bites of the cherry.

They had two plans running concurrently, one to redeveloped the old houses into new dwellings (21/4264M referee to in this article) and another (20/4737M not mentioned in article) to knock down the old barn and stables punch a new road entrance into the property just prior to the pedestrian crossing outside of Stanneylands Hotel and build 10 new houses prices circa 900K + each.

The article is misleading as it suggests the owners have fallen on hard times because selling the 40 acres of land has now made their property less attractive. Not really a surprise there. Now they want to draw more value from the remaining land by building another 10 houses.

I live very near this location and have suffered 2 years now of construction traffic and associated impact of muddy roads and road damage as a result of the 170 houses being built by David Wilson Homes and now there is a proposal for more houses.

On 21 Feb 22 Stanneylands road will be closed to repair the gas pipeline. This pipeline was installed not long ago to provide gas to the new project and since the heavy trucks have been up and down the pipeline has become compressed and now the road needs to be dug up again, for a week, to fix the crushed gas pipeline.

Numerous incidents have taken place over the construction period as a result of HGV driving at speed along this road. In fact a wall at Little Stanneylands ( sight of this proposal) was demolished by a truck crashing into it.

The Council it seems allows construction companies to do as they wish causing damage to road surfaces, Grass verges without any complaint. We the Council tax payers then have to pay for the road to be repaired or curbs to be reset.

The old Linneys Bridge has been crashed into by a truck and the wall collapsed into the river. There have been traffic lights there for weeks with the bridge not yet repaired. The road has a weight limit on it yet HGV truck and even articulated trucks bringing and taking materials from the construction site use it with the obvious result.

The whole planning system is a mess and is not properly supervised by the council allowing all these issues to arise which cause additional pressures on local residents. My Council tax has recently gone up. My road is full off pot holes with not a level pavement in the area. Yet the Council claims it can’t afford to fix it or it does not yet meet the criteria for being fixed. Yet they allow construction companies who are making Millions to damage the roads , bridges, gas pipeline and other infrastructure with no accountability. Hmm me wonders why!

Everyone in this area has had enough of this money making exercise. How much money does a person need in their pocket before they are satisfied?

Is Wilmslow short of £900,000 plus houses and don’t mention affordable housing because that’s just a play on words . A so called affordable house on this proposal would still be over £600,000.

It seems to me that this article directs attention away from the true development which is being proposed. I hope that was by mistake.
Nigel Halford
Friday 18th February 2022 at 11:00 am
A group from the Council turned up at 10 am today, Friday 18 February, to view the proposed site and the entry point from Stanneylands road. They didn’t want to engage in conversation but it was funny to note how many had ‘Jones Home’s’ umbrellas! You would think for the sake of public perception they might choose a different umbrella.
Mark Goldsmith
Friday 18th February 2022 at 3:59 pm

Your frustration is shared with many residents who experience planning laws for the first time.

Unfortunately, planning law does not consider public opinion at all. The number of complaints is irrelevant. It is all about the quality of the complaints and their planning reasons for refusal. The quantity of complaints is never considered. Therefore, one objection based on relevant planning law can achieve a refusal, while 500 complaints based on public opinion do not. Right or wrong, its the system we have to use.

The protocol for site visits is that councillors should not engage with residents. This is common across all councils and my first Google search was Northumberland Council's "Site-Visit-Protocol":

They say "Site visits should be carefully conducted: so that councillors cannot be accused of bias towards any of the parties involved"

Therefore, if a councillor stops to chat with you, says that they also think the houses look ugly, then the applicant can get them removed from the vote. It sounds far fetched but it has and does happen, which is why the protocol is there. It is not that they don't want to speak with you, its just that it could get them into trouble if they do.

Finally, the site visits are arranged for the Friday before the committee hearing. I suspect that Jones Homes just offered the umbrellas as a courtesy when they arrived and to get the councillors to stay a bit longer. They would have been returned afterwards though.
Marc Staples
Saturday 19th February 2022 at 12:44 pm
Think Jones Homes will need to order some more brown envelopes soon must be running very low by now ?
David Smith
Sunday 20th February 2022 at 12:16 pm
WE - the residents - elect YOU [a councillor] to represent US. Or perhaps more accurately: enough residents vote for you and you get more votes than anyone else, so you win. The percentage of votes any candidate receives in many an election [councillor, MP or whatever for that matter] is usually a low percentage of those eligible to vote. So winning an election is nothing about which to feel so important.
In return, ALL the people who live round here do expect and hope for a councillor who can represent their views and principles with abilities and skills that they do not have themselves. A bit like going to the doctor for the help from someone who has the knowledge and ability to help us overcome an illness or we employ a pilot to fly our plane [we cannot do that ourselves] when going away - an ‘entertainment’ that has featured in the media lately during the very strong winds. So in a way, we all depend on each other to do a good job. I'm not so sure however that building so many luxury VERY EXPENSIVE houses round this neck of the woods is really anything but a process of making a few people even more stinking rich at the expense of the rest of us who have to put up with the inconvenience both during construction [the council should control this better] and then also tolerate the increased presence of more residents on our roads plus more demand on the local services after completion.
Is this part of Manchester just becoming a ‘dormitory’ place to live whereby most residents jump in their cars and drive off to their place of work miles away? The proximity to a ‘handy’ motorway network is often touted as a plus in any estate agent blurb about living round here. Wouldn’t it be a better policy of life [saving the planet] to live as near to a place of work as possible? I suppose Covid and working from home has put an end to that question. It would, I think, nevertheless be a good statistic to have available as to how far the residents of Wilmslow live from their place of work and also how far from Wilmslow those who travel to work here actually live. Comparing postcodes could do this. It might help plan what should be going on round here.

Other than that - I have to say again:
Will ALL these millionaire’s houses have a south-facing roof at 40 degrees pitch and COVERED in solar panels?
Will any of the houses collect rainwater for use in the loos and outside taps?
Will any of them collect hot waste water from showers/baths/kitchens and extract the heat for recycling into a hot water storage system before discharging it as cold waste water into the sewers instead of chucking the heat down there and helping keep the sewer rats warm?
Or, most likely, I bet they will all feature large open plan living areas [like on Grand Designs] that just eat up loads of gas/electricity [millionaires can afford it no problem] whilst many living not far away struggle to pay their energy bills.
Shouldn't every planning application, therefore, in the whole of the UK [Wilmslow is in the UK] apply these - and many more - climate changing CO2-reducing designs into ALL new homes after the recent good intentions and promises following the COP26 conference in Glasgow? Remember that before Christmas?
Might also be a good idea in helping to reduce the energy cost of running a home.

It’s all got to be part of the PLANNING process and cannot be left to those who hand out free umbrellas and might then be accused of influencing opinion by cheap advertising.

PS: Did all this land once belong to Francis Lee [ex Man City player from the 60's - 70's who bred racehorses on this site? Not seen a horse there for ages. Read all about him at the link:
Stuart Redgard
Sunday 20th February 2022 at 11:20 pm
#David Smith,

I see that you, like me are a regular contributor to comments on this website. You don’t seem to appreciate that planning law is made by the CENTRAL government in Westminster but implemented by the LOCAL government in each local authority. All law in the UK is descriptive, not prescriptive. Planning law is about land use, not building performance. So the answer to all of your questions is no.

However, at the request of Wilmslow Town Council, about 40 local resident volunteers got together and created something called the Wilmslow Neighbourhood Plan. This became a statutory document that the planning officer has to consider when reviewing every planning application in the civil parish of Wilmslow. We wanted to include all of the issues that your questions covered but were told (by a professional), that we could not as they have nothing to do with planning law.

So if you really are concerned and want to change “the system” then I suggest you contact your MP and take it up with them.
Mark Goldsmith
Wednesday 23rd February 2022 at 3:23 pm
The councillors on the Northern Planning Committee refused this application by 10-0 with 2 abstentions.

However, the applicant now has the legal right to ask the governments Planning Inspectorate to decide this application instead.

So we won this battle, but it may be central government who now has the final say.