Proposals for 236 houses and a 100-bed care home will head to committee next week with the council pushing forward the scheme “to avoid the planning process being blamed” for construction delays.
Although planning officers admitted it was “not possible to make a final determination” on the scheme “at this time”, the proposals will head to planning committee on 4 November, potentially allowing planning permission to be granted.
The proposals are for a plot to the east of Village Street, which will link two existing residential developments to the north and south. These have been delivered by David Wilson Homes and Morris Homes in the last decade; development of the Sandymoor site began in the 1980s.
Developer and housebuilder Galliford Try agreed a deal with Together Housing to deliver the scheme this summer; under this deal, the partners will deliver a mix of 236 homes, split between two, three, and four-bed properties which will be available for open market sale via Galliford Try Partnership’s housebuilding arm, Linden Homes.
As well as the homes, Galliford Try will also build an 100-apartment extra care scheme, which will be owned by Halton Housing. All these properties will be developed over a phased basis and the development is due to complete in 2024. PRP is the architect.
Although the scheme is heading to committee, a series of issues are yet to be addressed, including the potential impact of the scheme on nearby woodland.
Officers said there could be the potential to redesign the scheme or reduce the number of homes on the site depending on how these issues are addressed; however, the project is on the agenda “to avoid delay in presenting to a future committee and avoid the planning process being blamed for delaying construction of much-needed housing”.
A number of representations against the scheme had been put forward, with 55 letters of objection submitted. Issues primarily revolve around the inclusion of extra care housing, traffic volumes, and the impact on wildlife and the landscape.
However, officers said the scheme would bring forward homes on the site which has been allocated for development for more than 10 years. A final decision on the project has been delegated to the council’s director of planning along with the planning committee chairman.
Earlier this month, the council approved a mixed-use retail-led centre in Sandymoor, which is being brought forward by Lane End Group and Williams Tarr Construction.
The proposals are for 43 one and two-bedroom apartments, as well as five bungalows; along with a children’s day nursery and five retail units. The largest of these at 4,500 sq ft has been set aside for a convenience store, with the further units providing between 1,000 sq ft and 1,500 sq ft each.
The centre is designed to serve both existing homes in Sandymoor as well as further proposed development at the 363-acre site.