Controversial Wilmslow homes on Cheshire East planning agenda
A housing scheme on former green belt land outside Handforth, which attracted 815 objections from local residents, has been recommended for approval at next week’s strategic planning board.
David Wilson Homes’ planning application to build 174 houses, a new roundabout, public open space, and a new crossing of the River Dean at a site off Stanneylands Road, between Handforth and Styal, will be discussed at the meeting on 20 December.
The site, allocated for housing use under Cheshire East’s local plan, is currently used as grazing pasture and sits between Stanneylands Road and Wilmslow Garden Centre, which fronts Manchester Road.
The housing mix will be split between 24 apartments and 150 houses, including 112 four-bedroom, 35 three-bedroom and 19 two-bedroom homes, as well as eight one-bed properties.
The application was previously deferred from a planning meeting on 22 November, and has now been recommended for approval, despite 815 objections from local residents and Wilmslow Town Council.
The town council said the application should be refused until Cheshire East “undertakes an up-to-date independent traffic assessment,” and said the application did not comply with the area’s local plan “due to the lack of a sound infrastructure plan”.
Residents raised concerns over the increased levels of traffic the development would bring, and argued the area should still remain as green belt land, despite its allocation for housing in the local plan.
A public consultation, attended by around 120 local residents, was held between July and August this year.
Despite these objections, planning officers have recommended the green light for the development, subject to a Section 106 agreement.
This will include a £500,000 contribution towards local education; a £488,000 commuted sum towards on-site public open space maintenance; a £186,000 contribution towards health provision; and £150,000 towards a potential cycle path and footpath linking the site to Manchester Road.
Around 30% of the homes of the site will also have to be allocated as affordable under the Section 106 agreement, amounting to around 52 houses.
The £150,000 contribution towards the footpath was agreed following the application’s deferral in November. The path would link the housing development to Manchester Road via Wilmslow Garden Centre, which is said to be “open to entering discussions with the council or developer” over the use of part of its car park for the footpath, subject to an agreement.
Council planning officers said the site would provide new tree planting and the retention of trees and woodlands at the edge of the site, which would “properly define a new green belt boundary”.
The report to next week’s committee also argued the additional traffic generated by the site would not be considered to have “a significant impact” and said the level of traffic generation would be “low”.
The report concluded: “It is considered the proposals are environmental, socially, and economically sustainable, and accord with the development plan and the framework.
“The site is sustainably located within the town and the proposals represent an efficient use of the land.
“The applicant is providing further financial contributions in order to make the development acceptable, and is providing the full amount of affordable housing on site which is essential to make developments sustainable in the future.”
The professional team on the development includes SCP as transport consultant, and Turley as planner.