McCarthy & Stone plots Willaston retirement flats

Retirement housing provider McCarthy & Stone is set to bring forward 35 apartments on the former Royal British Legion club in Willaston after Cheshire West & Chester planners signalled their support for the project.

The developer is looking to demolish the existing Royal British Legion club on the site, which sits off Hooton Road in Willaston, near Neston. The 1.2-acre site is near the Willaston Conservation Area which starts immediately to the west.

McCarthy & Stone is planning to build a 35-apartment scheme in a roughly T-shaped block, designed by architect IDP. It will also have 35 car parking spaces to the front.

Local residents, however, have opposed the scheme with a petition against the project attracting 80 signatures. The Willaston Residents and Countryside Society has also signalled its objection to the project.

Criticism has focussed around inadequate provision for car parking and a potential increase in traffic in the area. Local councillor Myles Hogg requested the application be called into Cheshire West & Chester’s planning committee due to the development’s scale and massing, and its impact on higways.

However, planning officers have signalled their support for the project by recommending it for approval when the council’s planning committee meets next week.

Officers argued the scale and character of the project “was not out of keeping with the village” and said there were “sufficient amenities for residents to promote sustainable transport choices and avoid over-reliance on private motor vehicles on a day-to-day basis”.

The officers’ report also said the re-use of previously developed land was a benefit of the scheme, and added: “It is not considered that the proposed development would cause significant harm to the social well-being of the local community through the loss of either the bowling green or the club as a whole.”

The application is recommended for approval subject to a Section 106 agreement, which is set to include contributions to off-site affordable housing, off-site open space, and a local health service provision.

The application is set to be determined on 4 September.

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