Handforth Garden Village Masterplan
The project is one of 14 pipeline garden villages across the UK

Land deal drafted for Handforth Garden Village

Dan Whelan

Cheshire East Council is trying to unlock land to build 1,500 homes but needs to unpick a complicated set of issues involving third party rights of way and other barriers to development. 

The plans being drawn up by the council could see the authority exercise its right to ‘appropriate’ the land. This is the process whereby a council pays compensation to a third party to seize control of a plot for the purpose of development. 

In this case, the council already owns 70% of the development area for the proposed Handforth Garden Village, located on the opposite side of the A34 to the Handforth Dean retail park.

However, within this 70% are rights of way and easements used by a third party. The other 30% of the site is in third party ownership. 

Under the plans, Cheshire East will attempt to negotiate with the third party to reach an agreement to rework and altering these rights of way to enable development to progress. 

If an agreement cannot be reached, the council could exercise its statutory right to appropriate the land. The council would then modify or remove these rights of way if they were deemed to impede development. 

New rights of way would be provided “as appropriate”, according to a council report. 

Engine of the North, the council’s development company, is leading on the Garden Village proposals, which as well as the 1,500 homes include a primary school, sports facilities, 175 elderly care residential units, a village hall, and space for self-build homes. 

The plans also contain 116 acres of open space, and just under 30 acres of employment land. 

The development site spans 300 acres and is earmarked to build one of 14 garden village projects selected by the Government in 2017 to boost housing numbers across the country. 

Infrastructure work will make up the first phase and the next three stages will deliver roughly 500 homes each. The development is due to complete by 2030.

In total, around 48,000 homes are expected to be delivered through the UK’s garden villages initiative.

As well as Handforth, plans are in the works for garden villages in St Cuthbert’s in Cumbria, Bailrigg in Lancaster and Halsnead in Merseyside. 

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Very wise move.


Does this mean that the allocation, by the Council, of the Council’s own land for development, is technically not deliverable?? Hmmm

By Mr T

Good news, but make sure the build quality is good and affordable homes are built. No more ready made slums please. ie certain handforth wilmslow border developments.

By David M

There’ll be no rural space left anywhere soon

By Sue

Has there been enough research into these developments or is it a roll of the dice by the council ?

By Linda

Concerned about the lack of provision of GP services and pressure on senior schools. Having said that, I am in favour of the plan as more housing is needed.

By Ian Atherton

There’s a huge housing development at the old airfield, AVRO in Woodford. How many houses do we need in this area? Is the idea to fill every field between Woodford and Manchester to enlarge the City. In my opinion there’s far to much new development around here.

By Peter Hardman

Absolutely ludicrous. Where are all these people coming from? We had the slum clearances and replacement housing years ago. Traffic in this area is going to be disasterous.

By A Cynical

More tarmac and concrete, fields gone forever, nowhere for rainwater to go just more floods not caused by council. Suppose they can just blame the rain on farm animals farting to much again

By Mr mark

I am sick and tied of Greedy Builders taking the Beautiful Countryside up,there will be No Green Space round South Manchester At All if they carry on.where will Nature live,Where will
People be able to walk,we’ll End up Loving in a Concrete Jungle.When will they realise All this,Not to Mention All the Flooding it will cause.and you can’t remove Rights of Ways,just to Suit.

By Jane walsh

What an absolute shame!! The roads will not cope. The health service will not cope. The jobs are not there. And the wonderful wildlife???
This is a disgrace when there are so many other run down areas that would benefit more. GREED!!

By Paul

Who needs green space when there’s money to be made. Another project of short sighted greed.

By Anonymous

Which road/s is this development going to connect to.
The old A34 and the bypass are frequently gridlocked already. 1500 + houses = at least 2000 cars

By A Vickers

Worst site ever. Joins Cheshire and Manchester in one go. Exactly what the Green Belt is meant to stop. Council owned land, need I say more?

By Handforth Harry

Entrance to new estate 100 meters from the m62 m57 junction death trap waiti g to happen new homes next to motorways all the concern about traffic fumes literally going up in smoke

By Peter monaghan