Around 1,500 homes could be built off the A34 with Cheshire East’s strategic planning board asked to approve a detailed masterplan for the Handforth Garden Village project at a meeting next week.
A six-week consultation was held in September and October on the draft strategic planning document document for the village, one of 14 announced in January 2017 as new Garden Villages across the UK.
Thirty six responses were received for the proposals, which will see the village created on the opposite side of the A34 bypass to the Handforth Dean retail park.
The site is a gateway for Cheshire East, bordering Stockport’s administrative boundaries to the north and east. Along with housing, the proposals include slightly less than 30 acres of B1/B2 employment land.
Cheshire East’s development company Engine of the North is to act as lead developer for a project that in design terms, is planned to be centred around a traditional village high street, anchored at one end by a village green and amphitheatre.
The village is to include a primary school and sports facilities including a grass pitch and 3G surfaces, village hall and space for self-build homes. There will be 116 acres of open space. With linkages to Handforth itself a priority, the plans also call for the replacement of the existing A34 footbridge with a more accessible design that could act as a gateway feature.
If the council board approves, Engine of the North will look to secure a hybrid consent to take the site forward, looking to establish an outline consent for the whole site and securing detailed approval for initial preparation and infrastructure works, including ground remediation and reprofiling, access works to the A34, the removal and replacement of the existing footbridge over the A34; and partial provision of green infrastructure, all of which will be driven by Engine of the North.
All of these works are to be completed before any housing is built. The local authority will also be responsible for the education, sports and medical parts of the project.
Cheshire East said it is “exploring all sources of funding to enable the delivery of these works at the earliest possible stage following the grant of planning approval”.
A determination by June 2019 is desired by the council, which sees the site as essential to its five-year housing supply, and has driven the project forward more aggressively than most of the Garden Village’s counterparts.