Henbury Planning Applications August 2019
The reserved matters site in red, and the full application outlined in blue

Battle continues over Henbury housing

Charlie Schouten

Local residents have vowed to continue to fight proposals to build 157 homes outside Macclesfield as housebuilder Bellway advances two planning applications for the site.

Groups including local residents, Henbury Parish Council, and local MP David Rutley objected to the original application for the site, approved in 2018, despite it being allocated for housing under Cheshire East’s Local Plan.

The plot opposite the Cock Inn to the north of Chelford Road outside Henbury was brought forward to planning by Frederic Robinsons but has since been taken on by housebuilder Bellway. Outline permission was secured for 134 homes on the site last year.

The housebuilder has progressed the site by submitting a reserved matters application for 134 homes, while also putting forward a full application for an additional 23 houses bordering Whirley Road to the North East.

The two planning applications include a mix of 157 one, two, three, and four-bedroom homes with the reserved matters application including 40 affordable units.

Both applications, however, have been met with continued objections from local residents and the parish council. The latter said it had “grave concerns regarding the development, with issues such as traffic volumes, air quality, lack of infrastructure, and destruction of a valuable wildlife habitat continuing to ring alarm bells”.

The parish council also said the full planning application “appears to imply destruction of a community woodland planted by local school children some years ago”, which, according to the council, is protected in Cheshire East’s Local Plan.

The council has also picked holes in the transport assessment, which suggest bus services running to central Manchester and Macclesfield are still current. The council’s response to the application points out that the 27 bus service running from Knutsford to Macclesfield no longer exists, while the 130 bus service does not run to Piccadilly Gardens, as suggested in the transport statement.

Many of the concerns to the original application focussed on air quality issues, with the nearby Broken Cross declared an AQMA in October 2017; these issues have continued with the parish council arguing:  “The proposed development is unsustainable, will put the health of Cheshire East Council residents at increased risk of air quality-related disease, exacerbate an already dangerous travelling environment and cause the expansion, and further degradation, of an AQMA for which there is currently no Air Quality Action Plan”.

Bellway is being advised by planner Avison Young on the applications, while APD has provided the design & access statement for the full planning application.

At the time of the original approval, Avison Young said: “Cheshire East and Macclesfield in particular, urgently need new homes and investment. Realising high-quality development on allocated sites such as these is critical to the council’s forward land supply.”

The original application was approved at the same committee as another site to the south of Chelford Road, again allocated within Cheshire East’s Local Plan. This application from Jones and Redrow Homes totals 223 houses.

A judicial review had been threatened over both sites, but is yet to materialise.

Your Comments

Read our comments policy here

Subscribe to our newsletter