Muller launches legal case over Sandbach land

Crewe-based Muller Property Group has lodged a judicial review against Cheshire East Council over a dispute for access to a residential development site in Old Mill Road.

The legal case revolves around a small parcel of land connected to the A534/A533 roundabout, which forms the access to a site which has planning permission for 200 homes.

Last year, the council initially refused the application for houses on the land, however this decision was overturned in December 2014 by a planning inspector.

Muller has said that it will spend £1.6m on upgrading the roundabout and improvements to Old Mill Road.

According to Muller, in subsequent months Cheshire East Council has not entered into a S278 agreement to formalise these plans as it said that some of the land needed to implement the highways scheme is council land and not highways land.

Muller maintains that the piece of land has been earmarked for highways purposes since 1987, when it was acquired by Cheshire County Council for construction of the inner relief road.

There was no response from Cheshire East Council when contacted for comment by Place North West.

Colin Muller, chief executive of Muller Property Group, said: “We have reluctantly launched the judicial review as we felt the Council were being unreasonable and not acting in the public interest. The site has been granted planning permission and I feel the Council is now doing everything they can to stop it from being delivered.

“As the planning inspector confirmed, our proposals for the roundabout will not only provide access to the new homes but make traffic flow better, which will benefit everyone. I cannot understand why the Council is wasting more taxpayer’s money trying to hold up this process. I can only conclude that it is a petty attempt to try and stop this development from happening, which is not in the Council’s remit.”

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If the land is not designated as highway then the Council would need to resolve to dispose of the land and then seek best value- that is in their remit. Muller have focused on their consent before they secured their access. Stokes v Cambridge anyone??

By Mark Aylward (ATP)

Like your thinking!

By Robroy

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