Knutsford Housing Crown Estate Barton Willmore

Knutsford proposals return to planners after housing numbers cut

Plans by the Crown Estate for a housing project on greenfield land north of Northwich Road, just outside Knutsford, are set for approval after the landowner cut the number of homes proposed for the site from 260 to 190.

Previous proposals for 260 homes were due to be decided on at Cheshire East’s strategic planning board in December, but a decision was deferred following public feedback and objections from Knutsford Town Council.

Cheshire East and the developer have been in discussions on how to best bring forward the project since a decision was deferred.

The 39-acre site is currently used as agricultural pasture but has been earmarked for housing development under Cheshire East’s local plan. However, the site has only been allocated for 175 homes, below the number proposed by the Crown Estate.

There will be 57 affordable units on the site as well as 20 intermediate tenure homes. The remaining 133 homes are allocated for market sale.

Knutsford Town Council has now withdrawn its objection following a reduction in the number of homes on the site.

The developer will be expected to make Section 106 contributions of £91,000 towards local education provision, and a financial contribution to highways works including a new roundabout linking the development to Northwich Road.

There will also be a £262,000 contribution towards healthcare provision.

Recommending the scheme for approval, Cheshire East planners said the proposals would be “a relatively minor encroachment into the green belt”, and added the developer would provide enough contributions to make the scheme acceptable.

“The proposals are environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable and accord with the development plan and the framework,” said the planners’ report. “The site is sustainably located within the town and the proposals represent an efficient use of the land.

“Cheshire East is currently able to demonstrate a five-year supply of housing, however, this proposal will make a valuable contribution in maintaining this position.”

Barton Willmore is the planner for the project. Cheshire East’s strategic planning board is due to meet on 25 April.

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Recommending the scheme for approval, Cheshire East planners said the proposals would be “a relatively minor encroachment into the green belt”, and added the developer would provide enough contributions to make the scheme acceptable.

Erm…isn’t it now out of the Green Belt given it’s an allocated site…?!

By Bobby Zamora

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