Amid objections from the local council and the area’s MP, proposals by Wainhomes for 68 homes in Wrenbury have been recommended for refusal by Cheshire East’s planners, while an outline application for 50 homes near Sandbach is also set to be rejected at next week’s planning committee.
The larger of the two proposals by Wainhomes is for 68 homes, including a mix of six one-bed apartments; 20 three-beds houses; 39 four-beds; and three five-bed properties.
These are planned for an open field off Cholmondeley Road towards the edge of Wrenbury, although the site is bordered by existing development to the east and west.
The site is designated as open countryside under Cheshire East’s Local Plan, while the Wrenbury Conservation Area crosses its southern edge.
As a result of the loss of open countryside, a number of objections had come forward. Both Marbury Parish Council and Wrenbury-cum-Frith Parish Council have both opposed the scheme, while it also attracted 80 letters of objection from local residents.
These concerns have also been championed by local MP Antoinette Sandbach, who has supported objections based on the site’s open countryside designation, the harm to local infrastructure, and the fact the site was not allocated for housing under the Local Plan.
Recommending the project for refusal, planning officers said the development would be a departure from the Local Plan and there would be a presumption of refusal against the proposals “unless material considerations indicate otherwise”.
Planners also criticised the housing mix on the site; according to policy only 22 houses should be detached but Wainhomes has proposed 44 of these. Officers said the developer had put forward “no evidence [or] justification to suggest why this mix should be acceptable”.
Officers also said there was “insufficient information… to determine compliance with affordable housing policies” for the development.
If rejected at next week’s Southern planning committee, it will be the latest development in Wrenbury to be knocked back by Cheshire East.
Earlier this year, an independent planning inspector upheld the council’s decision to reject plans by Gladman Developments for 46 homes in the village, finding the council had identified enough deliverable sites to provide a five-year housing supply.
Also on the planning committee’s agenda next week is an outline application for 50 homes north of Hind Heath Road in Sandbach, and again these have been recommended for refusal.
The 5.4 acre site borders the Wheelock Rail Trail and is currently used as an unregulated overflow car park for Sandbach United Football Club. The developer had argued the proposals would “provide a choice of housing to meet the needs of the area, whilst respecting and enhancing the site’s environmental assets”, and added the scheme would be “set within robust, green infrastructure”.
The primary reasons for the refusal recommendation are that Cheshire East is able to demonstrate a five-year supply of housing sites; and that any development on the site would result in “significant harm” by merging Wheelock Village and Ettiley Heath together.
Objections had also been received from Sandbach Town Council, alongside 47 letters from local residents, and opposition from both the Sandbach Woodland & Wildlife Group.
Cheshire East’s Southern planning committee is due to meet on 8 August.