Jones Homes is the latest firm to advance housing plans on Bruntwood SciTech’s Cheshire estate, seeking consent for 50 homes.
The housebuilding arm of the vastly experienced Emerson Group is seeking full planning consent for two of the remaining undeveloped plots in the southern campus area at Alderley Park – the Walled Garden and the Kitchen Garden.
Even though Alderley Park is within the Green Belt it is classed as a “major development site”. In the past, it functioned as a 19th-century country estate before becoming a popular headquarters location – AstraZeneca once called it home. So despite the Green Belt locale, outline consent is already in place for the scheme and approval is recommended.
Within the Walled Garden site, Jones Homes, advised by Avison Young, propose to build 17 homes, facing onto a landscaped area running around the inside of the wall.
The Kitchen Garden plan is described as a more inward-looking proposal, with 33 houses, representing a mix of two- and three-storey homes. Most of the homes will be three to five bedrooms.
Ollier Smurthwaite is the project architect, while Donald Insall Associates is engaged as heritage advisor.
From its acquisition of the site in 2014, Bruntwood had spelled out its intention to sell off non-core parts of the site to housing specialist partners to bring forward in various plots, a site masterplan then being developed that included 275 homes.
The Jones application lies south of previous developments by PJ Livesey in the courtyard and water garden areas, accounting for around 60 homes; and north and west of PH Properties’ developments, known as The Ride, Vale and Serpentine, which comprise around 80 homes.
The Walled Garden is a largely grassed area, part of which was formerly used as a tennis court, while the Kitchen Garden site was formerly a football pitch and has a frontage to the access road.
Objections to the proposals have come from the Cheshire Gardens Trust and Nether Alderley Parish Council, the latter raising concerns over parking provision and the amount of three-story homes.
They are joined by the council’s housing officer on the grounds of the 30% affordable housing target not being met.
However, officers recommend that, as with previous residential projects on site, a Section 106 agreement should include 15% provision on the Life Sciences Employee Housing Scheme. A £274,000 contribution to education is also requested.
Approval would mean further progress for Alderley Park, with Royal London having now moved to the site in a major relocation. Recent commercial development has included the £30m Glasshouse, a 150,000 sq ft office complex which opened in February 2020.
The plans go before Cheshire East Council’s planning committee on 1 September.