Demolition of Alderley Edge hotel returns to planners

Proposals to build 26 apartments on the site of the County Hotel at Harden Park, just outside Alderley Edge, could move forward after being recommended for approval by Cheshire East planners.

The County Hotel just off the A34 has been vacant since 2009 and has fallen into disrepair since its closure nearly 10 years ago, and has been subject to a series of planning applications.

These include proposals for 14 apartments, which was approved by Cheshire East Council in 2013. A start on site was made but this redevelopment then stalled. A year earlier, plans were withdrawn to convert the existing hotel into six apartments, alongside a new-build block of eight homes.

The latest proposals for developer Harden Park Gardens are to demolish the hotel and its associated Wacky Warehouse children’s play area, and replace it with 26 apartments over two red-brick blocks, with basement level parking for residents. The homes are split between 20 two-beds and six one-beds.

Designed by architect Howard & Seddon, the plans include the provision of additional soft landscaping, slate roofs for the two apartment blocks, and an additional site access to the north.

Harden Park Gardens’ application has been revised since it was first submitted in 2017 with the number of apartments being reduced from 32 to 26.

The planning application was originally recommended for refusal at a planning committee last month, due to a lack of affordable housing provision, but has returned to committee after being withdrawn to allow the council and the applicant more time to address planners’ concerns.

It has now been recommended for approval by Cheshire East’s Northern planning committee, which is due to meet on Wednesday 6 June, subject to a Section 106 agreement, which includes an education contribution of around £120,000, and open space provision of £79,000.

Council planning officers said the scheme would “make effective use of a previously developed site and would also result in the removal of the existing unsociable use of the hotel and pub, given the proximity of existing residential properties”.

“The proposed development is not considered to have a materially greater impact upon the openness of the green belt,” added the planners’ report.

Alderley Edge Parish Council has objected to the plans, arguing would result in “significant overdevelopment” within the green belt, and criticised the scheme’s impact on traffic congestion along the A34.

The professional team on the project also includes SCP as transport consultant; GVA as planner; and The Plant Room as landscape architect.

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