Council sets out vision for new garden village

Screen Shot 2018-08-23 at 18.08.24

Cheshire East Council has unveiled its vision for the development of a new Garden Village containing around 1,500 new homes on land to the East of the A34 in Handforth.

Members of the Strategic Planning Board are being asked to approve for consultation the draft Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) for the Garden Village at Handforth at their meeting on Wednesday, 29th August.

The document is intended to provide the over-arching guidance for the development of the new settlement which is included in the Cheshire East Local Plan, adopted in July 2017, and in January 2017 the site was announced by the Government as one of 14 new 'Garden Villages' to be created across the UK.

Plans for the 114 hectare site, which the Council currently owns 70% of, include 1500 homes, up to 12 hectares of employment land, retail units, a pub or restaurant, health facilities, hotel, sports facilities, community centre, children's day nursery and a primary school.

Around the settlement green infrastructure is planned, including green corridors, country park style open spaces, sports pitches and allotments.

A report prepared for the Strategic Planning Board recognises that that the potential challenges of creating this new Garden Village are significant and complex.

The report states "There is extensive ground contamination requiring remediation and re-profiling; vehicle access points need upgrading and traffic capacity on the strategic highway network (A34 and A555) requires mitigation works. Natural features (trees, hedgerows and ponds) need to be retained where possible; existing public rights of way need protecting; barriers to pedestrian, cycle and bus routes connections to the local area should also be overcome; important habitats and compensatory habitats for protected species must be designed to support and enhance the biodiversity of the Site; heritage assets (Dairy House Farm and farm outbuildings) must be preserved and refurbished."

However, it goes on to state that the development of the site also brings with it a significant opportunity, "The concept of a new settlement was first mooted in response to concerns over the impact of sporadic development, disconnected from necessary infrastructure. In contrast, by concentrating development in a single location, it is possible to plan comprehensively for the community's needs. The new settlement provides the economies of scale necessary to plan properly for public transport, education and other community facilities."

The Council considers a comprehensive approach can only effectively address these constraints and challenges and is proposing two distinct stages of development. Stage 1, the Initial Site-Wide Preparation, will include site remediation and re-profiling, the creation of the main vehicular accesses from the A34, creation of the spine road through the village centre, the village high street road, laying of the main utility connections, the creation of approximately 47 hectares of green infrastructure and pathways and cycleways. Stage 2, the Built Development, will not commence until the primary works are completed.

The SPD sets out what the Council expects to see as part of any future planning applications. Once approved, the SPD will be formally adopted and will become a material consideration in determining all future planning applications.

If approved by Cabinet the draft Supplementary Planning Document will be subject to a six week consultation during which the Council will be seeking comments from members of the public, stakeholders and other interested parties.

Handforth Garden Village, North Cheshire Garden Village


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

Jon Williams
Friday 24th August 2018 at 9:19 am
2000 more cars near Tesco's
secondary school children to what school
need I go on
Deleted Account False Name
Friday 24th August 2018 at 12:11 pm
Which part of that area was the green belt again?
Jon Williams
Friday 24th August 2018 at 3:16 pm
All of it !
Kathryn Blackburn
Monday 27th August 2018 at 8:52 am
Neither Stockport nor Manchester Councils want this 'village' built out. Reason being their own roads and schools and doctors will be effected. Cheshire East own the land and are therefore set to earn mega monies from its sale. The question is do we the voters want or need another 4,500 residents on our doorstep to add to those already being slowly trickled into all the houses that CEC have approved thus far before any new significant infrastructure being put in place first - Hospital - Parking - Secondary School accommodating at least 1500 - 2000 pupils, Another Health Centre with at least 6 new doctors. Surely we all need and require those extra services now for us the existing residents rather than even more drain upon those we have now.
CEC - Mad, Bad and Dangerous to know.
Mike Davies
Tuesday 28th August 2018 at 9:05 pm
Yet more cars on our already busy and overcrowded roads? Where will they all park? How will our roads manage them?
CEC are not driven by what we need. They are (allegedly) driven by money and out of date and incorrect reports written by connections to the builders. Read them and laugh at the inaccuracies! Our Greenbelt, our heritage our space. Do we really want “about” 1500 new “Barrett”-type ugly houses that all look the same?
Julie Coliins
Wednesday 29th August 2018 at 7:27 am
CEC. Built what they like when they like where money is involved. But try asking for a small extension or dormer windows and it’s a no as there’s no money in that. CEC are taking away the very thing that makes it desirable to live here. GREEN SPACE.
Greed , they are supposed to be the custodians of the land not profiteers!
Steven Kingsby
Wednesday 29th August 2018 at 8:34 am
I was going to say "unbelievable" but what do you expect from this council.

Newcare Homes take note: this would be a good place to build your unwanted care home proposed on Handforth Road, instead of knocking down 2 perfectly good houses and spoiling a residential area.
George Marshall
Thursday 30th August 2018 at 4:34 pm
Honestly you lot, I'd say you were being nimby's, but then, no one lives or uses those fields other than the odd dog walker. The region is desperate for new housing, as is the whole nation. We have to do our part.

With the greatest respect, most commenters on here likely already own a home in Alderley & the vicinity. What about your children & grandchildren? Where are they supposed to buy a house with such a shortage?

This is coming with plenty of green spaces (hence garden village) school & local amenities.

And good gracious! Where will they park? There drives most likely. I'm beginning to think we should start a "parking enthusiasts of Alderley Edge" group. ;)
Alan Brough
Friday 31st August 2018 at 9:02 am
George Marshall,

Okay, I'll rise to the bait.

"The region is desperate for new housing?" Have you been to Holmes Chapel / Sandbach / Chelford recently? Have you seen the proposals for land at Royal London? Have you even imagined the scale of the "Handforth Garden Village?" Have you noticed the loss of several local grand houses, to be replaced by numerous luxury apartments?

An awful lot of prudent, hardworking families have piled their savings into their homes over recent years as bricks and mortar have been a far better investment than the flakey financial markets - all of that is about to collapse as local councils completely reverse the dynamics of supply and demand. As if that weren't bad enough, the timing, alongside a potentially rocky "Brexit" with economic growth badly hit, the likelihood of recession and job losses all acting together.....a pretty bleak prospect wouldn't you agree?

As for your concern about children and grandchildren - I grew up in Alderley Edge and the fields, brooks and open spaces were the best playground that we kids could ever have imagined. I walk the same fields now and still see loads of children, as well as dog walkers enjoying the space and open (still relatively clean) air.

Don't be fooled by the name "Handforth Garden VIllage," that's just a trick to make it sound more acceptable to a gullible public. There wont be much in the way of garden! Just as in Chelford, Jones' Homes development of James Irlams site is quaintly called Cricketers Green. You'll have to listen very hard to hear the sound of leather on willow!