An application for the redevelopment of the County Hotel site just outside Alderley Edge will go before Cheshire East’s northern planning committee with a recommendation for approval.
The proposal follows the withdrawal of a scheme for which applicant Harden Park Gardens received consent last year, which included the demolition of the hotel, vacant since 2009, to be replaced by two apartment blocks of 13 apartments each, with basement parking.
Citing viability issues, Harden Park withdrew the application – itself an update on a previous plan for redevelopment of the hotel building alongside a new-build apartment block – in October.
The latest iteration of its plan is for the demolition of the County, to be replaced by 22 apartments and four townhouses, again in two blocks along with some underground parking. The overground parking element has been reduced from that in the previously approved scheme.
Recommending approval subject to a Section 106 agreement, officers report that “the development would make effective use of a previously developed site and would also result in the removal of the existing unsociable use of the hotel and pub, given the proximity of existing residential properties. The development would improve the appearance of the site which has been vacant for many years, and has fallen into disrepair.
“The proposed development is considered to have a materially greater impact upon the openness of the Green Belt, however very special circumstances are considered to exist which clearly outweigh the harm. The proposal also raises no significant design, amenity or highway safety issues.”
Unlike the scheme put forward in 2018, Alderley Edge Parish Council has said it has no objections to the proposal.
The contributions proposed by officers include a secondary education contribution of around £120,000; an open space and outdoor sports contribution of £84,000; and an affordable housing contribution of £362,000.
Harden Park Gardens is advised by Broadgrove Planning & Development. Ollier Smurthwaite has been brought in as architect for the scheme, which is described as having a traditional appearance.
Along with the County, Harden Park formerly housed the Yesterday’s nightclub. In April 2018, MCR’s luxury homes brand Regency Residential revealed plans for 12 single-storey homes to be built on the Yesterday’s site.