Residents confirm their preferred sites for new housing developments in Alderley Edge


Questionnaires were recently delivered to every household in Alderley Edge as part of the Neighbourhood Plan process, asking local residents their views on what aspects of living in Alderley Edge are important, where new houses should be built in the village and what type of new housing is needed. The questionnaire also asked for their views on car parking, transportation, local facilities and improvements to the village centre.

Alderley Edge Parish Council delivered 2500 the Neighbourhood Plan questionnaire and confirmed that they received 376 completed copies but since the deadline date of Thursday 30th March for returns we have received more, so they now have in the region of 400 copies returned.

The Parish Council has sent the completed questionnaires to Cheshire Community Action for analysis and have been told that they will receive the results around mid May.

Councillor Christine Munro said "The Parish Council felt that outsourcing this work has the benefit of having an independent third party do the analysis, so addressing any concerns that might be raised of bias if we undertook the work ourselves."

She added "We did however ask CCA to give us a faster analysis of Q2.2. This question asked residents to rank a number of different sites in the village in order of their preference for development.

"The assumption behind this is that Alderley Edge will be unable to avoid a requirement under the Local Plan to provide at least 100 new homes over the period to 2030."

Adding up the top scores (scores 4+5) for each site produced the following ranking:

1. Harden Park (228)
2. Hole Farm (157)
3. Land opposite Horseshoe Farm (118)
4. North of Beech Road (101)
5. A34/Tomato Farm (96)
6. A34/Ryleys Farm (89)
7. Multi-property developments within village (64)
8. Infill within village (52)

(Note that the scores for the three sites ranked 4, 5 and 6 are very close).

They got a similar result if they deduct Most Unsuitable scores from Most Favourable scores when the ranking becomes tighter.

In both cases:

  • The favoured sites are Harden Park, Hole Farm and the land opposite Horseshoe farm.
  • The least favoured are development or infill within the village boundaries.
  • In between lie the land north of Beech Road, the land adjacent to the A34/Tomato Farm and the land adjacent to the A34/Tomato Farm.

Christine Munro added "Since we undertook the Neighbourhood Plan questionnaire we have established that regrettably we cannot include Harden Park in the sites to meet the 100 home objective, which means that we shall need to include one, or more likely two, of the alternatives.

"The overall figure for Local Service Centres is 3,500 houses, however, this is split between existing permissions (of which Harden Park is included) and new permissions. The target for new permissions is about 1,250 and it is from this latter figure that our allocation of 100 is derived. Harden Park cannot be included in the latter figure as it has already been included in the former."

Neighbourhood Plans allow communities to say what they want their priorities to be over the next 15 years and once completed they have the power of the law. Planning Officers will refer to Neighbourhood Plans when considering planning applications for new developments in and around the village, which means they can have a real and positive impact on the village's future.

The answers from the survey will form an important part of the data being collected for the preparation of the Alderley Edge Neighbourhood Plan, which once complete everyone in the village will be able to vote on through a referendum.

Local Plan, Neighbourhood Plan


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Emma Casson
Wednesday 19th April 2017 at 4:54 pm
What a farce if the site that the majority of people suggest can't be included why even suggest it in the first place and surely if only 400 views have been received it can't really be a fair representation of the villagers views the people who have responded are probably in the main the people who these houses would effect if built.
Craig Browne
Wednesday 19th April 2017 at 6:47 pm
Hi Emma,

Perhaps I can just add a few words of clarification. Harden Park has been included, but as planning permission had already been granted for 26 dwellings (14 apartments on the former County Hotel site and 12 bungalows on the former Yesterday's site) this figure counts towards existing permissions rather than new permissions. Both new and existing permissions count towards the overall target of 3,500 homes for Local Service Centres. The responses to the questionnaire seem to support the decision to approve the development of 26 dwellings at this location.

I hope this helps.

Kind regards,
David Pearson
Wednesday 19th April 2017 at 10:06 pm
I wish to state for the record that the proposed option 5 A34 / Tomato Farm is on the land associated with now defunct Ryles Farm and is therefore not in any way connected with A Pearson and Sons or on any of the land owned by our company.

Kind regards

David Pearson
Chris Jones
Saturday 22nd April 2017 at 4:08 am
Of course it's a fair representation ,
2100 households have decided to oppose any development in the village.
Roger Birch
Sunday 23rd April 2017 at 3:15 am
Craig, it is invalid logic to suggest the responses to the questionnaire "seem to support" the decision. The questionnaire was couched in terms that we had no option other than to accept development and that "No" was not an option. If the PC has already accepted the 'inevitable' rather than fight it, then what we are talking about is resigned acceptance of the least bad scenario and not support for it!

Equally, Chris's logic is wrong. The fact that 2100 households (assuming this number is correct) did not respond does not automatically correlate to them opposing any development. However, I am in total agreement with the sentiment being floated! Coming back to the questionnaire's wording, it would have been very interesting to see how many people would have responded had there been a "No development" option!

Emma's comment is closest to reality - the results of the questionnaire cannot hold any credibility when the option which clearly came out as the 'preferred one' (again given the context) is not even a valid option! When did the PC realise this?

It seems the PC - who were voted in on a platform of openness and communication - now have the most questions to answer! Not only does this relate to the initial process, but also their apparent 'recommendation' to promote the option the public voted in the block of 4th - 6th and one which 'slips in' the moving of the Heyes Lane allotments.
Mike Dudley-Jones
Sunday 23rd April 2017 at 11:27 am

Putting a 'No Deveopment' option into the questionnaire would have been misleading as most residents, of course, would have opted for this believing that it was realistic. As a Parish Council it is our role to advise and guide our residents as best we can and this, we will continue to do. But to lead them to believe that we might be able to successfully fight off the requirement for around 100 homes by 2030 would have been irresponsible because it is our belief that we would fail.

Without the suggestions we are putting forward we would certainly have 'development sites' imposed on us and these might well be on land we were all opposed to but would by then have no option but to accept.

Nobody likes change but the number of houses proposed for Alderley Edge at around 100 is modest compared to many other communities. We should also remember that, with the exception of the occupants of Chorley Hall, we all live in a 'development'!

I still wish that rather more people had used the questionnaire to tell us all how they feel. How wonderful would it have been if we could have had a representative appraisal. Instead it seems that we all have to continue to speculate.
Craig Browne
Sunday 23rd April 2017 at 1:48 pm
Hi Roger,

If I can just add a little bit of background to help put this in context. As part of the Local Plan Strategy, Cheshire East have a responsibility, handed down by central government, to identify land for the provision of 36,000 homes by 2030. Should CE fail to do this, all of its green belt policies, conservation area policies, nature area policies etc would be considered out of date, leaving us vulnerable to any developer who came along.

Through the Local Plan Strategy, neighbouring Wilmslow have been given an allocation of 900 homes and Handforth an allocation of 2,000 homes. Meanwhile, here in Alderley Edge, we are looking at an allocation closer to 100 homes. Naturally, we would prefer to be looking at an allocation of no homes at all, but that simply isn't an option and it would have been misleading to offer it as one in the Neighbourhood Plan questionnaire.

The challenge for us now is to determine where these 100 homes should go, in the best interests of the whole village. We could say that none of them should go in the green belt, but this would just mean more infill development (commonly known as "garden grabbing") instead. The piecemeal nature of infill development would mean no infrastructure levy for investment in things like roads, footpaths, car parking, allotments or parks.

The alternative, reluctantly, is to release small pockets of green belt land for development in order to satisfy our allocation. By doing this, and identifying these sites within our Neighbourhood Plan, we will qualify for investment through the Community Infrastructure Levy and be much better placed to fight the Story Homes proposal, which would have a much greater impact on the green belt and change forever the character of Alderley Edge.

Kind regards,
Duncan Herald
Monday 24th April 2017 at 9:36 am
Parks may not be a problem, as already some Councils are looking at 'farming out' parks to charities!
Have C.E. thought about this ?

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