Cheshire East celebrates appeal victories

Cheshire East Council has won three planning appeals against residential developments in Wistaston, Alsager and Willaston.

The authority successfully defended its decisions to refuse planning permission for 300 homes in Church Lane, Wistaston and 130 new homes on land off Sandbach Road North, in Alsager brought by Gladman Developments. It also won a High Court ruling against Richborough Estates' development of 146 homes at Moorfields.

At Church Lane, the development was refused by the council then approved at appeal last August. However, Secretary of State for Communities Eric Pickles has overturned that decision. As the Cheshire East local plan is currently being revised, Pickles ruled that an approval "could undermine the plan-making process by pre-empting decisions which ought to be taken in that context in order to ensure that the most appropriate sites are released for housing."

At Alsager, Government planning inspector Stephen Roscoe dismissed Gladman's appeal as the "proposal cannot be seen to be sustainable development and that the adverse impacts of allowing the appeal would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits".

Last week High Court judge Justice Lang backed Cheshire East Council's refusal of planning permission for Richborough Estate's Moorfields scheme for 146 homes in Willaston, and said that there had been an "error of law" when approving the development at appeal last August.

A statement from Cheshire East Council said that the rulings represent further vindication of the Council's strong opposition to unsustainable development on green field sites.

"All three cases highlight the importance of the Council's green gap policy and its commitment to preserving the best of the Cheshire countryside", the council said.

Gladman declined to comment, and Richborough was unavailable to comment.

Barton Willmore advised Richborough.

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