Javid blocks 900-home Cheshire appeal

Communities secretary Sajid Javid has refused permission for a housing development of up to 900 homes on a former golf course in Cheshire, finding that the scale of the proposed scheme would cause 'significant harm' to open countryside.

Sajid Javid
Sajid Javid

In a decision letter issued today, Javid dismissed appellant Haddon Property Development’s appeal against the failure of Cheshire East Council to determine its application within prescribed timescales.

The developer had sought permission for up to 900 new homes, along with new employment development and a new primary school on a site comprising 64.7 hectares of land forming the former Gorstyhill Golf Course near Weston, to the south-east of Crewe.

Javid agreed with the conclusions of inspector Claire Sherratt, who held a public local inquiry into the appeal.

In his decision letter, Javid said that, given that the council has now addressed its lack of a five-year housing land supply in its recently adopted local plan, he considers that the proposed development would "prejudice and undermine" the overarching spatial policies of the strategy, adopted in July 2017.

According to the decision note, Javid gave modest weight to benefits of the scheme, including its provision of facilities and services, and its contribution to the supply of housing overall, "including affordable housing, self-build plots and retirement homes".

But the letter added: "Weighing against the proposal … is the significant harm that would arise due to the scale of the development proposed in the open countryside."

Javid also dismissed the developer’s appeal against the council’s refusal to modify a 2003 planning obligation limiting the number of homes which can be built upon the golf course site.

His decision letter said that, as the 900-home appeal had been dismissed, "it follows that it would not serve any useful purpose to modify the section 106 agreement".

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