Cheshire council resolves to grant planning permission for 250-home mixed-use scheme in Sandbach

Out-Law News | 27 Jun 2014 | 4:44 pm | 1 min. read

Cheshire East Council's strategic planning committee has resolved to approve developer W and S Sandbach's (W&S) outline proposals for a 250-home mixed-use development on farmland in Sandbach, according to a report in the Estates Gazette . The decision comes two months after a planning inspector said the Council could not demonstrate a five-year supply of housing land.

Proposals for the 12.5 hectare site to the west of junction 17 of the M6 motorway include 250 homes, 14,500 square metres of commercial space, a 63 bedroom hotel, a pub and a restaurant. W&S received full planning permission in April for the improvement of the northbound junction 17 slip road and a new roundabout to provide access to the development site.

The area in which the development is proposed forms part of a strategic site for mixed-use development in the Council's emerging Local Plan (440-page / 51.3 MB PDF). The Plan proposes up to 200 homes and 20 ha of land dedicated to uses providing employment opportunities (employment land).

The proposals were on the agenda (2-page / 72 KB PDF) for consideration at a meeting of the Council's strategic planning committee on 25 June, having been recommended for approval with conditions in a planning officer's report.

While the proposals include 50 more homes and 15 ha less employment land than the emerging Local Plan has allocated, the reporting planning officer was mindful of the decision of a planning inspector in April, who allowed a developer's appeal against the Council's refusal of permission for a 94-home development in Sandbach, determining that the Council had failed to demonstrate a five-year supply of housing land. 

The planning officer's report to the strategic planning committee (40-page / 466 KB PDF) said "refusal of this application will undermine housing land supply figures, which would lead to further unplanned sites coming forward".

"It is accepted that in order to bring the employment uses forward an amount of residential development is required to fund the necessary road and infrastructure for the employment site", said the report. "The employment opportunities that are created and the associated highways improvements arising ... weigh heavily in favour of the proposal."