Russell Homes has been granted planning permission for 100 homes and associated infrastructure on the site of Saltersford Farm in Holmes Chapel, Crewe, following an appeal against Cheshire East Council.
The application from the housebuilder and landowners GJ & MJ Pickering and GF Pierpoint & Son was initially made in December 2013 but was refused by Cheshire East due to what the council said was the unsustainable location in open countryside, the loss of agricultural land, and an existing housing land supply that was for in excess of five years.
Following an appeal on the decision, the inquiry took place in January 2015 led by planning inspector Colin Ball. Before the proceedings took place the council withdrew most of its objections regarding the location, and admitted that it could not demonstrate a five-year supply of housing land.
However, Cheshire East still felt that the scheme would constitute the loss of open countryside. The inspector ruled that as the site was a field already surrounded by residential development and tall trees, that it didn't count as open and wouldn't affect the character of the area.
The scheme will include 30% affordable housing and a contribution of £97,000 towards the provision of healthcare facilities at Holmes Chapel Medical Centre.
Walsingham Planning advised Russells and the landowners, submitted two applications for the scheme and acted as sole inquiry witness at the appeal.
Jonathan Vose, principal consultant at Walsingham Planning, said: "We are very pleased that the inspector has found in favour of our clients on all grounds. Whilst hugely gratifying, it is frustrating that it has required two planning applications and a public inquiry to reach this position given the obvious merits and logic of this site. Nevertheless, we look forward to working alongside Cheshire East in promoting further locations within which its evident housing shortfall can be appropriately addressed."