Handforth Garden Village development moves a step closer

Handforth Garden Village map

The development of a garden village at Handforth has moved a step closer.

The garden village will include 1,500 new homes, up to 12 hectares (30 acres) of employment land, a new local centre, a new school and extensive open space.

The council is the lead developer for the scheme and the delivery strategy and programme for the project were approved by cabinet in September 2018. Around 70 per cent of the land allocated for the garden village is owned by the council, while the remaining 30 per cent is owned by third parties.

To bring forward the site's development, the council needs to ensure there are sufficient rights of access and for delivery of utility services across the council land and that third-party rights, such as rights of access, do not impede development.

Today, Cheshire East Council's cabinet gave the green light for its officers to seek to legally resolve any outstanding legal rights issues, so the scheme can proceed unhindered.

Councillor Nick Mannion, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for environment and regeneration, said: "This is an exciting scheme to deliver much-needed housing and jobs in the north of the borough – and we need to be able to move forwards without hindrance due to any outstanding rights issues.

"Most of the beneficiaries of the existing rights are in dialogue with the council regarding the delivery of the garden village scheme. A key element of the council's delivery strategy is to ensure that all parcels of development land have the necessary rights for access and utilities/services.

"As such, where the exercise of an existing right conflicts with the development proposals for the garden village, the council is committed to either modifying that right or to replacing it with a new alternative right. Where appropriate, compensation will be paid for any loss of rights – but we expect this to be only a small cost to the council."

The garden village scheme would also create more than 300 construction jobs and 470 supply chain jobs during the delivery phase. It is estimated that the scheme will also deliver a further 600 jobs directly and 150 supply chain jobs due to the new commercial and community uses created and the increased expenditure in the local area.

Councillor Craig Browne, deputy leader of the council with responsibility for transport and strategic infrastructure, said: "I am determined that the garden village will have cycling and walking routes and that the final scheme will also be supported by a park-and-ride facility as well as a new bus route providing connectivity with Handforth railway station and the nearby town of Wilmslow.

"Our world-leading bioscience hub at Alderley Park will create significant employment and economic growth opportunities over the next few years and I am keen to make sure that as many of those opportunities as possible are taken up by people living within Cheshire East. For this reason, multi-modal connectivity between the proposed development site and the bioscience hub will be essential."

The garden village is a site of around 120 hectares (300 acres) allocated as a strategic site in the council's adopted Local Plan Strategy with a submitted planning application to be considered later in the year.