Seashell Trust inquiry to start in May

The disabled learning charity has submitted its evidence to the planning inspector, as the date nears for its appeal to be heard against Stockport Council’s refusal of permission for a school and campus project.

The trust put forward proposals for a £45m school and 325 homes in Heald Green, close to the Handforth bypass, as it looked to replace its existing dated buildings on the site, with the project to be part-funded by the sale to a housebuilder of green belt land owned by the trust.

The overall masterplan includes a new school with therapy suite and swimming pool, extension of the existing college, family assessment units, family support services, sports hall and pavilion, new main entrance drive, reception and car parking. Planning permission has already been granted for a new 3G sports pitch.

However, despite officers recommending approval, the plans were refused in January 2018, committee voting seven to five against, with issues cited including affordable homes provision and that not enough had been done to demonstrate the special circumstances required to incur into the green belt.

The trust lodged its appeal in June, and as required has now followed that up with submission of evidence, which will be heard at an inquiry which is due to start on 8 May.

Seashell Trust chief executive Jolanta McCall said: “We were incredibly disappointed with Stockport Council’s decision to refuse our application, which would see us create a desperately needed new school and campus here at Seashell and believe that the decision the planning committee took was the wrong one.

“We spent over two years preparing our original application, we answered every question asked of us and we believe we demonstrated very special circumstances would allow us to secure planning permission on the site.”

The hearing is scheduled to take up to six weeks.

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Has the resi world decided to descend on all the green belt sites in to Cheadle Hulme, Bramall Heald Green & Poynton.

I would love to know what the Planning & Transport guys are thinking about next to ease what has now become a standstill zone at peak times in theses areas. apart form the upgrade to existing facilities at Sea Shells, lets hope this development gets binned next time


Wow! In the interests of putting a thumb back on the scale here…This application has been rejected several times and the reason – that lack of VSC – explained in detail. The costs have recently increased to over £50m : a figure that Stockport Council could build 4 (yes, FOUR) SEND schools for…each accommodating more students than that which the Trust are proposing! Stories have two sides…

By Heald Green

It never creates a good first impression when the etch-a-sketch artist gets obvious, basic, issues totally wrong. Always makes me wonder what more serious matters are wrong. If you are creating a one way system, its normal to get people to park in line with the flow, not against it.

By D

Why should the school get special permission to decimate greenbelt? I mean, OK, they do good work, but they are no better than anyone else and should not expect any special help. The traffic these types of place generate, mostly from outside the neighbourhood, is not needed with road infrastructure around here already bad, and this would add to pollution levels.

By Bob

The reality is 100 years from now we will all be dead and heald green will be part of the airport authority. People have got to live somewhere so long as the infrastructure is in place for these extra people what’s the problem. If you want to live in the country move to Cumbria plenty of green belt.

By Realtalk

I appreciate this is a safe space for developers but….jeez…. We will all be dead in 100 years so let’s make that interim period as profitable as possible for the developers eh? People can always switch on their TV is they want to see some grass eh? To help that along let’s remove all of the sensible and fair considerations and legislation in planning so that these poor developers don’t have to keep spending their own money trying to get around them eh? Let’s argue that the infrastructure problems created by developments should be really be sorted out (Ok, paid for) by councils…not the developers…just somebody else eh? Let’s get rid of that pesky phrase ‘Affordable Housing’ eh? And that ‘If you want to live in the country…’ line is such a predictable retort I assume they teach it in developer school. What about the people that already live and work here and don’t want their environment to be dictated to them by developers and lobbyists eh? Like I said. Jeez…’

By Heald Green

Refusing something which has the potential to be so helpful, so supportive and so needed to real people becasue of the inconvenience and small disruption to a few people living in the area seems to be horribly petty and narcisitic. The sale of a greenbelt land is always going to be a last option – but the reality of it is that this country has an ever growing population and a housing crisis – people need places to live. To rather have a view from your existing house than accomodate others to have a home is selfish, to not want more traffic in the area is, although understanable, like trying to brush up on a windy day – one has to accept facts of life rather than being bitter and entrenched becasue all it is doing is denying wonderful and positive projects to be realised which would benefit generations to come.


The denial is selfish

By Anon

Could it be planned better? Maybe a better architect?

By Anon

Key employer and national charity for children and young adults with complex disabilities looking to provide state of the art new facilities through the utilisation of land assets also providing much needed housing in Greater Manchester.Certainly looks more preferable to some of the other proposals in the draft GMSF for Greenbelt release.

By Taxed

Green belt should not prevent this going ahead, less than 10% of the country is even classified as urban, which includes gardens and parks. This whole idea that the whole country will soon be concrete is completely ignorant and only upheld by people whose worlds are so small they never leave their estate other than to drive to work and back.

By Anonymous

Get back to the future, Obviously got no Kids.
Oh! by the way hurry!! your life’s running out!!


The comments on here demonstrate just how uninformed about greenbelt most people are.

Aside from a few exceptions (agricultural buildings, previously developed sites etc) the development of new buildings in the greenbelt is prohibited by national policy. Any development other than for those few exceptions requires the demonstration of “very special circumstances”. Planning permissoin should only be granted where it is demonstrated that those circumstances outweigh the harm to the greenbelt and other harm caused by the proposal. If it is reasonably possible to achieve whatever your very special circumstances require in a way that causes less harm than your proposal then planning permission should not be granted.

In this case there seems to be no disagreement that the school needs new facilities so as to continue providing the services it provides, nor that there is a need for those services to continue being provided, but the council’s contention is that the new facilities proposed are significantly over-specified and, consequently, the cost of providing those new facilities is significantly inflated. To meet that cost, the council contend, the school are subsequently proposing a greater quantity of residential devleopment than the council consider necessary. I’ve not read the full detail but would imagine that the council contend the required new facilities might be financed through a lesser amount of residential development or, alternatively, that because the new school faciltiies should cost less there is scope for the proposed amount of residential development to meet other policy requirements that it currently doesn’t (like affordable housing, contributions to transport infrastructure etc)

By the light of the moon

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