Proposals by land promoter Richborough Estates for housing, offices and almost 200,000 sq ft of industrial space off Viking Way are set to move forward.
The site is 58 acres and for planning purposes sits within the Congleton Business Park extension area allocation, an important plot for both housing and employment in Cheshire East’s Local Plan.
The project is recommended for approval at the council’s strategic planning board meeting this week.
Land promoter Richborough’s outline application seeks consent for up to 175 houses and a 19,000 sq ft foodstore, a local centre including pub, takeaway provision and non-food retail. The scheme also includes a greenway for pedestrians and cycling, with vehicular access coming purely from Viking Way.
In commercial terms, it also proposes 37,000 sq ft of offices, 93,000 sq ft of light industrial use, and 126,000 sq ft of warehousing.
Billed as Viking Part, the 23-acre commercial part of the site was put up for sale either as a whole or plot by plot by Richborough in November 2020.
If approved, the project will inject further funding for the £90m Congleton Link Road, a priority project for Cheshire East which is due for completion this spring.
The sum set out in the proposed heads of terms is £15,000 per home, with a minimum of £2m in total – if all 175 houses are built, the total would come to £2.65m. As set out in the scheme’s design & access statement, the current plan is for 169 homes.
The applicant makes the case that with such a contribution, the scheme’s viability would be affected by offering the usual required 30% of the site to affordable housing, instead proposing 17.5%, a total deemed “acceptable” to the borough’s housing manager. Of these, 80% are for intermediate sale at 80% of market value.
Avison Young is the planning consultant for the project, with Pegasus Group providing design input.
A key strategic allocation, the wider Congleton Business Park expansion plot is outlined to take up to 625 homes, along with 24 acres of employment land adjacent to the business park and 7.4 acres of employment space adjacent to the Congleton Link Road.
Also in the Congleton area, Richborough had previously promoted a site off Black Firs Lane, selling the 25-acre plot to Bellway Homes in summer 2019. Prior to that, the business was entangled in a three-year planning wrangle with Cheshire East over a site in Willaston, eventually determined by the Supreme Court.