Knutsford housing plans to go back to consultation

Proposals by Tatton Group for 235 homes on a site north of the Parkgate Industrial Estate in Knutsford are likely to return to planners next year after a decision on the scheme was deferred by Cheshire East’s strategic planning board this week.

The site, which is allocated for housing under Cheshire East’s Local Plan, secured outline permission in 2015 and developer Tatton Group was looking to secure reserved matters consent at Wednesday’s planning committee.

The developer took the step of submitting two separate reserved matters applications for the site; however, both of these were recommended for refusal by planning officers, who argued the details of the proposals were “inappropriate development in the green belt and which do not preserve openness”.

Planning officers highlighted various elements they felt were detrimental to the scheme, including the development’s “poor quality design which fails to take into account local design standards”.

The report also criticised the housing mix, which is predominately four and five-bed, and argued the proposed junction arrangement to access the development was “too straight”.

While admitting the new homes and its 30% affordable housing provision would be a benefit, planners concluded: “In this case, there is a clear conflict with the development plan, supplementary planning documents, national planning policy, and the outline planning permission.

“The harm identified by reason of inappropriateness and other harm is not clearly outweighed by other considerations to amount to very special circumstances”.

At committee, the first of the two reserved matters applications was refused by members, while a decision on the second was deferred. Tatton Group had previously submitted a letter ahead of the committee asking for the application to be withdrawn from the agenda to allow it address the issues raised by planning officers, which were only flagged in the week before the meeting.

The reserved matters application is likely to return to committee next year following further public consultation, and it is understood a series of amendments have already been put forward to address members’ concerns.

A spokesman from the Tatton Estate said: “We are pleased that the committee have deferred determination of reserved matters at Parkgate to early next year.  We very recently received a number of technical comments, some or which we have already addressed and others which can be resolved with the engagement of council officers in the next few weeks.
“Whilst we are surprised that a consented and allocated site had one of the reserved matters applications refused, the council and the Estate have both publicly committed to working positively and swiftly to progress the deferred application.  We look forward to delivering the much needed and first significant new housing for Knutsford in over a generation, along with much sought after improvements to Parkgate Lane, Adam’s Hill, Hollow Lane junctions, open space including a new playing pitch and primary school capacity.”

Pegasus is the planner for the project.

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Sounds like a right mess. Who is advising them on this terrible strategy?!

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Is it any wonder we have a housing crisis?

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