New Care Wilmslow
How the proposed home will look on the sloping Handforth Road, according to Street Design Partnership's visual

Unanimous refusal for Wilmslow care home

Charlie Schouten

Going against officer recommendation, Cheshire East’s planning committee has unanimously refused plans by the McGoff Group for a care home on Handforth Road, citing “overdevelopment” and the impact on neighbouring properties.

In a move that was greeted with a round of applause in the council chamber, Cheshire East’s Northern Planning Committee voted down the proposals, which had been recommended for approval by planning officers.

New Care, a division of the McGoff Group, had proposed a 65-bed care home; this would involve the demolition of two existing houses on the largely-residential street.

New Care had made attempts to placate the council and locals who had objected to the scheme with a series of revisions. Initial plans were for 83 bedrooms, but these were first scaled back to 69 bedrooms, before being cut further to the 65-bed care home that went before yesterday’s planning committee.

The developer had argued there was an “acute need” for housing for the elderly within Cheshire East and Wilmslow, and was supported by planning officers, who agreed on the need for the development; the report ahead of committee said: “The proposal would make a valuable contribution towards meeting an identified housing need for elderly people within the borough, as well as continuity in their care”. This was assigned “significant weight” in the planning balance.

Officers also argued there were “no significant visual, highway safety, amenity, design or flooding issues” and noted the scheme “complies with relevant local and national planning policies”.

Cllr Barry Burkhill, one of the scheme’s primary objectors, argued the scheme should go to committee due to “significant and extensive local concern”; this centred around potential overlooking, the scale of the build, and car parking.

Ahead of committee, planning officers had noted the concerns, but argued none were strong enough to justify refusal; officers also noted there was the potential for the Secretary of State to call in the plans, but maintained a recommendation for approval, subject to call-in.

At committee, however, councillors were not swayed by the arguments put forward by planning officers or the developer, and the scheme was moved for refusal on four separate grounds: the impact on neighbouring properties, overdevelopment of the site, the under-provision of parking, and the impact of the development on the street scene.

Prominent objections had come from Wilmslow Town Council, while there were 84 objections to both the original scheme and the revised proposals.

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 project in Bramhall.

Your Comments

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Nimbys out in force for this one. A committee decision against a planner’s recommendations and so close to local elections, it tells you as much as you need to know.

By Aevis

Good to see common sense alive and well. The proposal for this facility and its position was entirely and wholly inappropriate. Aevis’ comment shows an ignorant misunderstanding of the objection and refusal.

By Peebrain

I was at the meeting and I cannot help wondering what inspired Mr Keane the planning officer to recommend that planning permission was granted. There were 85 objections, in addition there were further objections from our local MP Esther McVey, the NHS and two local GP’s, the NHS and the GP’s said they did not have the finances or resources to support an additional significant number potentially acutely ill elderly people.
Only a blind person could think there was no visual. This three storey monstrosity would have replaced two fairly nice two storey houses and would covered the entire front. Overpowering the neighbouring house about 10 feet away in fact. Lit up 24/7. Some of the comments in the meeting, mentioned site cramming, over developing and a greedy developer. I wonder what Mr Keane’s definition of no visual is?.Mr Keane also ignored the fact that the site had about two thirds of the required parking spaces, using the councils own guidelines.
Having read the previous comments, I suspect the first comment is either from the developer, the architect, Mr Keane or someone who has a financial interest in this development. Clearly he/she missed the part about the unanimous vote against this development. Maybe you could provide your address and the developer can build this home where you live, as you seem happy to have it.
Local elections have nothing to do with the sensible decision made by our elected officials. They voted against it, because it failed in so many areas and should be applauded for doing the right thing.

By Resident

Editorial correction required, New Care have not been successful in Cheadle, this has been escalated and may be decided today, 25th April

By Kevin Taylor-McKnight

The first comment is correct. We need new care facilities for our elderly as many existing facilities are not fit for purpose. Local politicians should be ashamed at overturning a recommendation to approve as they are now exposing the local tax payer to unnecessary costs at a time Councils can’t afford the expense. The NIMBYs should be ashamed for depriving our elderly of fit for purpose facilities in the Wilmslow community.

By Anonymous