Delay on decision over Handforth Dean retail expansion

A decision on proposals from Consolidated Property Group and Orbit Developments to extend shopping and leisure facilities around Handforth Dean Retail Park has been deferred until the end of next month.

Applications around two schemes were due to be considered at Cheshire East Council’s planning committee tomorrow, with recommendations from planning officers to reject due to a loss of employment land.

At Earl Road, CPG is proposing to build 240,000 sq ft of retail and leisure, alongside a further four restaurants and three cafes with car parking. Spread across two planning applications, these were both been recommended for refusal.

Cheshire East Council owns the 14-acre site, with property development arm Engine of the North selecting CPG as preferred purchaser in 2015, in the knowledge that the plans to be brought forward would be retail-led.

Within the same scheme, CPG has applied to extend a Next store already in place on the site, and add two retail units, and this element was earmarked for approval.

Meanwhile, Handforth Dean Retail Park owner Orbit Developments has been fighting since 2015 to get consent to extend the park, with plans to demolish the offices and warehouses on a neighbouring plot to build seven retail units.

The proposals were first rejected in February 2016. Orbit is appealing the decision and a public inquiry is due to take place on Tuesday 13 June.

The council put both schemes on the planning agenda in order to assess their cumulative impact on the area. However, a decision will now be put back until the next meeting on 24 May, to allow for the submission of more information on the combined effect of both projects.

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