Cheshire East tipped to refuse schemes for 220 homes

A pair of proposals are tipped to be turned down by the council, while David Wilson Homes’ twice-deferred, and now twice-reduced plans for Sydney Road in Crewe are recommended for approval.

Cheshire East’s strategic planning board, its borough-wide committee that considers large-scale projects, meets on Wednesday 13 October, with three key items on the agenda.

In the Holly Tree Park scheme, applicant David Hughes is seeking consent to develop a retirement care community at Holly Tree House in Pepper Street, Chelford.

This is to comprise a 50-bedroom care home with isolation facilities; 72 assisted living one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments in 13 blocks; and a hub building with health facilities and 14 close-care suites.

The proposals involve the demolition of the existing dwelling and outbuildings, with existing access to be retained, along with a fishing/boating lake, sensory garden, Japanese water garden and a tennis court.

The proposal is in the Green Belt, and while it could overcome that restriction in “very special circumstances” officers report that the evidence provided by the council’s adult social care team and the local NHS clinical commissioning group suggest that the need for care facilities in this area is not proven to the extent that this should be given great weight.

Local ire has also been raised, with 133 representations against the scheme being lodged.

J10 is advising as planning consultant, with the professional team also including architect Pozzoni, landscape architect Squareyard, Eddisons, Christie & Co and CampbellReith.

Also facing potential disappointment is Muller Property Group. No stranger to wrangles with Cheshire East planners, the firm is seeking reserved matters approval for 170 homes at the 17.8-acre Fields Farm site south of Old Mill Road in Sandbach, where it has an outline consent for up to 200 dwellings.

Over the last couple of years, the developer has tried to refocus development at the site, applying variously for a convenience store/filling station scheme, refused in February 2020; a care home and housing (refused but with an appeal allowed); and hybrid applications involving combinations of retail & leisure, care and housing, one of which saw an appeal dismissed in October 2020.

For the current application, planning officers say that due to the site’s challenging topography, any development will require large retaining structures and little landscape mitigation. This is among the issues raised by officers, along with concerns around trees, the existing footpath network, natural surveillance, and roosting bats.

David Wilson Crewe Sydney Road

David Wilson’s plans have been twice tipped for approval and twice deferred. Credit: via planning documents

David Wilson Homes has already seen its proposals for homes at a greenfield site off Sydney Road, close to the prominent Crewe Green roundabout, deferred twice, despite being recommended for approval from the outset.

The site is allocated for housing of around 150 homes. DWH, having previously gone for 152 and then 149 homes, has again dropped its volume, to 146 dwellings.

Issues raised at committee in June included traffic safety concerns at the main road access point, along with the relocation of a playground, which has now been agreed. In August, committee sought tweaks ot the design around the apartments at the Crewe Green roundabout elevation. Parking has now been reconfigured to allow more green space.

Officers consider “that the proposed changes to the layout have resulted in greater spaciousness within and adjacent to the main courtyard located to rear of units which face onto the roundabout and provided more opportunities for greater greening and soft planting elements to be introduced”.

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