A planning inspector has allowed an appeal from Wainhomes against Cheshire East Council’s refusal of the development of 53 homes in open countryside near Shavington, Crewe.
The 7.5-acre site off Rope Lane is the second phase of a wider scheme, which saw an application for 80 homes on land south of the site approved at appeal in 2012.
The development includes 30% affordable housing.
The application for the second phase was first submitted in July 2014, and was refused. An inquiry was held at the beginning of June this year.
The council said that the scheme was ‘unsustainable’ due to its location in open countryside.
A statement to the planning inspector ahead of the inquiry said: “In the opinion of the local planning authority, the proposed development would cause a significant erosion of the green gap between the built up areas of Shavington and Crewe and would adversely affect the visual character of the landscape which would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits of the scheme, notwithstanding a shortfall in housing land supply.”
Planning inspector Karen Baker ruled that while green gap policy has a strategic planning function to prevent settlements from merging, it did not apply to the whole of the open countryside. She decided that the development would only have a limited impact on the gap, and would have a limited visual effect.
The examination into Cheshire East’s local plan is currently suspended as the council carries out additional work. One of the main issues has been the council’s ability to demonstrate a five-year supply of land for homes, which means that current schemes under appeal are considered in light of the National Planning Policy Framework.
Steven Harris, director at Emery Planning, which advised Wainhomes, said: “Phase one of this scheme is well under construction. Wainhomes’ plans are well advanced, there is a great demand for housing in the area and this development will assist in meeting that need.”
Cheshire East Council was unavailable to comment at the time of publication.