The scheme is part of the £45m redevelopment of specialist school the Seashell Trust

Bloor forced to wait on Heald Green housing

Neil Tague

The housebuilder’s reserved matters application for 202 homes off Wilmslow Road, on land owned by the Seashell Trust specialist school, has been deferred by Stockport’s planning committee.

Thursday’s meeting did approve Bloor Homes’ plans for the redevelopment of the St Ann’s Hospice site, also in Heald Green, a £10m scheme involving the construction of a new facility funded by the future development of housing on the hospice’s current, adjacent plot.

However, Bloor must wait until, at the earliest, the next meeting of Stockport Council’s planning and highways committee after this week’s local elections for its verdict.

The deferred application, recommended for approval by officers, is the first phase of a project of up to 325 homes for which Bloor, advised by NJL Consulting, secured outline consent last April. The scheme is part of the controversial redevelopment plans of specialist school The Seashell Trust, which won consent to build a new school and outline plans for the homes at its existing site, following an appeal process and public inquiry last year.

Bloor’s detailed plans were lodged in September. The first phase of homes is proposed for land east of Wilmslow Road, with Bruntwood Hall Brook running north to south towards its eastern boundary. The proposal includes the spine road extension that will enable phase two.

Plans include 26 two-bedroom houses, 79 three-bedroom houses and 97 four-bedroom houses. A community orchard is planned within the open space.

Fifty seven of the houses are proposed as affordable: 29 rented and 28 on shared ownership. The land is undeveloped open pasture, with the Seashell Trust site to the south. From neighbour feedback, there were 49 letters in support and 19 opposed, as part of a year-long consultation process.

Concerns had been raised by the local authority’s Cheadle Area Committee over some of the house styles proposed by Bloor, which the committee said fell below minimum internal size standards set out by Government in 2015. These standards are intended as guidance and have not been enshrined in legislation nor adopted as policy by many local authorities across the country, including Stockport.

Ahead of Thursday’s planning meeting, Bloor had reworked its plans to substitute different house styles so that all its open-market three-bedroom housing meets standards.

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