Homes passed as part of urban extension plans

A proposal for up to 215 homes in a Cheshire town has been approved after the secretary of state agreed that it would not stop a wider urban extension from achieving a coordinated and sustainable form.

The outline application proposed housing development on about six hectares and identified more than three hectares for public open space and structural landscaping. The council and appellant agreed that the scheme accorded with the development plan, no loss of high-quality farmland would result, 30 per cent of the units would be affordable and the landscape impact would not be significantly adverse. The council supported the scheme, subject to conditions linking the final design with an emerging development brief, but the town council and others maintained their opposition.

The inspector placed weight on the site’s inclusion in a planned urban extension including up to 1,000 dwellings and various other uses. The main issue related to the need for an agreed development brief in advance of any permission being granted. A draft brief had been prepared but not agreed, so the appeal scheme would not accord with the development plan policies relating to the site.

The inspector found that the appellant had carefully considered how the homes would be integrated into the new urban quarter. Subject to an appropriate section 106 obligation and condition, he was satisfied that allowing the appeal would not prevent the coordinated and sustainable form of development sought by the draft brief. He agreed with the council that financial contributions towards education, a country park and a new community/village hall were reasonable and necessary.

The secretary of state agreed, also concluding that a condition tying the submission of reserved matters to the emerging development brief was unnecessary. He saw no need for the appellant to make a financial contribution towards improved health facilities.

Inspector: David Prentis; Inquiry

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