David Wilson Homes’ proposals for the Crewe site are recommended for approval after public space was enlarged within the 149-home project.
The project was considered at June’s meeting of Cheshire East’s strategic planning board but was deferred. It will now be considered at the board’s meeting on 18 August.
Members asked for a more central location for the public open space, and asked for a design rethink on the apartment blocks facing the Crewe Green roundabout, effectively the face of the scheme.
Clarification was also sought on parking provision and electric vehicle charging points, along with further information on the traffic flow study provided.
Following June’s meeting, adjustments have been made by David Wilson, which is working with the Duchy of Lancaster. Savills is the planner.
The play area has now been moved to a central location and enlarged slightly. Officers described the new spot as a safer and more accessible location.
According to the local plan, a development of this size should have slightly more than 64,000 sq ft of public open space, and the proposal still remains slightly short of that, at 61,,084 sq ft.
The scheme has also been reduced from 151 homes to 149 at the 11-acre site. The number of four-bedroom and one-bedroom homes has been reduced by three and two respectively, with one three-bedroom home and a pair of two-bedroom homes added.
The overall make-up is thus: ten one-bedroom homes, 22 two-bedroom homes, 85 three-bedroom homes and 32 four-bedroom homes. There is no change to the proposed affordable housing provision, which is 45 homes, equating to 30% of the scheme.
Addressing the concerns at the Crewe Green end, landscaping has been strengthened, and assurance provided on the separation of balcony spaces.
In terms of the highways-related issues, the highways officer has raised no issues with parking, while the housebuilder has said each house will have a charging point, with the apartment-holders having access to shared points.
More than 100 consultation responses came in ahead of the scheme’s June hearing, and 13 have followed since, mostly reiterating earlier objections around traffic impact and querying why approvals should be given when the council’s housing supply pipeline is in a healthy state.
Officers, in providing an update on the current position of 6.4 years supply, point out that healthy overall supply is not in itself a reason to refuse consents on sites already allocated for housing and that that mark is to be regarded as a minimum requirement rather than a ceiling.
The Sydney Road area is important for development in the area. Watkin Jones is advancing a 245-home masterplan in the area and has sold 159 of the homes to Plus Dane.