Plans to convert the grade-two listed Hartford Manor into apartments, alongside proposals to build 227 homes on land alongside the River Dane, are among the key schemes to be discussed when Cheshire West & Chester’s planning committee meets next week.
The proposals for Hartford Manor, brought forward by Hartford Investments, have proved to be controversial, with local councillor Susan Kaur referring the scheme to the planning committee due to overdevelopment concerns and traffic issues.
The plans are to convert the existing manor into 15 apartments, and the demolition of a single-storey office extension, which will be replaced by 42 homes.
Now vacant, the offices were previously used as a call centre. The building sits on a five-acre plot bordering residential properties to the north and playing fields to the south.
The proposals by Baldwin Design & Consultancy are primarily for three-and-four-bed detached homes on the site of the office, described as “out of keeping” with the rest of the site. Access will be from Greenbank Lane to the north.
Despite the issues raise by the local councillor, Northwich Town Council has not objected to the scheme, agreeing the impact on local roads would be lessened if the site was used for residential rather than employment.
Recommending the project for approval, planning officers said the removal of the call centre would “undoubtedly improve the setting of the listed building” and that the proposals would “reveal the heritage asset to the wider public and would preserve the future of a listed building”.
“In this instance, having special regard to the desirability of preserving the building, its setting, its features of special interest and the previous listed building consent to remove the outbuildings, it is considered that the public benefits of the proposal would outweigh the less than substantial harm to the significance of the heritage asset and the limited harm to the open countryside.”
Also on next week’s agenda is a reserved matters application for 227 homes on a greenfield site between Langley Road and the River Dane, also in Northwich, which has been brought forward by Ainscough Strategic Land.
Outline planning permission for the 36-acre site was first granted in 2014 and a reserved matters application followed in 2016, but this was never progressed.
The latest application is for 227 homes accessed via London Road, although the outline application allows for up to 242 houses. These will be a mix of detached and semi-detached homes, and there will also be an apartment block.
The proposals for the site include extensive public realm including the preservation of some of the area’s meadow habitat and a “village square”.
These plans have also been recommended for approval at next week’s meeting, although the original outline application attracted a petition with 300 residents arguing against the scheme.
The applicant’s Section 106 agreement, which formed part of the outline permission, included a contribution of nearly £900,000 towards education.
Cheshire West & Chester’s planning committee will meet on 8 May.