Cheshire West & Chester Council has officially agreed to make the Tattenhall Neighbourhood Plan part of the area's development strategy following a meeting of the council's executive yesterday evening.
The approval comes a day after proposals from Bolesworth Estate for 28 homes in Smithfields, Tattenhall were unanimously rejected by planning committee councillors claiming that it was contrary to the Neighbourhood Plan. The scheme had been recommended for approval by planning officers but was called in by Cllr Mike Jones, leader of CWAC, due, he said, to the amount of public concern.
The agricultural land in the application is immediately adjacent to the settlement boundary of Tattenhall. Part of the field already has outline planning permission, granted to the Bolesworth Estate, for an additional 28 homes.
The Tattenhall Neighbourhood Plan advocates that "large scale, inappropriate development along existing village boundaries will not be supported by the community". The plan suggests that future development be limited to housing groups of no more than 30 units.
Jones told the planning meeting: "This [application] is the most cynical attempt to destroy the Tattenhall Neighbourhood Plan and a flagrant disregard to the work of the community.
Jones said that local people were not against small developments in the right place and continued: "Allowing this site will create a total development with an adjacent site being developed by Redrow and with the previous Smithfields application agreed, will create a development of 120 houses. This is massive urbanisation of the village of Tattenhall.
"These additional houses will massively overwhelm the infrastructure of the village. The school is almost full, the doctors are full, the recreation club is at capacity of some of its facilities."
Cllr Jones concluded that the application was contrary to the Tattenhall Neighbourhood Plan, and contrary to the National Planning Policy Framework.
Matthew Morris, estate manager for Bolesworth, said: "We are aware of the depth of anti developer sentiment in Tattenhall, after all we live and work there.
"As an estate we are seeking to enable this land for development so we can continue to invest not only in the estate but in the wider community and the facilities we provide. This is an application for 28 houses and must be judged on its own merit."
He added that the planning application was not undermining the Neighbourhood Plan but responding to the policies it contains and material planning considerations.
In September 2013 an independent examiner's report on the Tattenhall Neighbourhood Plan was considered at a meeting of the Cheshire West and Chester Council Executive. At the meeting it was decided that minor modifications should be made, as set out in the examiner's report, and before proceeding through referendum.
The plan was passed with 905 votes to 38, with a 51.86% turnout of the 1,822 eligible voters.
Approval was stalled due to a judicial review against the plan by Barratt Homes and Wainhomes in November 2013 who claimed that the independent examiner was biased. However their claims were dismissed last month, allowing the proposals to proceed to the final stage this week.