A proposal by a division of McGoff Group for a 65-bed care home on Handforth Road, Wilmslow has been recommended for approval at Cheshire East’s northern planning committee.
The project involves the demolition of two houses on a largely residential street and was last summer scaled down from 83 bedrooms to 69 – the developer withdrawing its initial application for the larger scheme, and submitting an appeal for non-determination to the Planning Inspectorate.
The 69-bedroom plan has been further scaled down in revised plans submitted in January. Cllr Barry Burkhill requested in February that the application be heard at committee due to the volume of local concerns.
He said: “The application has created significant and extensive local concern. It will create precedence for other houses in this area on both sides of the road in an area of large, low density, detached properties, widely separated, set in their own grounds and will inappropriately alter the character of the area.
“There is concern about overlooking a large car parking area and the parking provided does not meet parking standards, particularly at peak times.”
The proposal is for a three-storey home, with the top floor being “predominantly in the ‘roof space’” according to architect Street Design Partnership’s 2018 plans. Parking will be at the front of the site. The part of the building facing Handforth Road is one of the shorter arms of a U-shaped building.
Wilmslow Town Council, which objected to the original scheme, remains convinced that the plans represent over-development. In addition, representations from 50 properties were received prior to the revised scheme’s submission, with a further 34 registered since, mostly focusing on over-development and impact on the area’s character and highways.
Cheshire East notes the concerns, but officers are of the view that none are significant enough to justify refusal. New Care has always maintained that there is an acute need for housing for the elderly in a borough that has a larger than average proportion of elderly residents, a point planning officers agree with.
The local Clinical Commissioning Group requests a Section 106 contribution to help lay for improvements to the Handforth health centre. Cheshire East’s northern committee meets on Wednesday 10 April.
DEP Landscape Architecture and transport planner SCP are also on the professional team for the project.
New Care continues to progress developments across the region, winning consent from Stockport in January for a pair of £15m projects in Cheadle and Bramhall, comprising a total of 139 bed spaces.