A decision is due on plans for a new retirement development at Alderley Park in Nether Alderley this week.
Full planning permission is being sought to build a retirement community comprising of 159 extra care units along with associated healthcare and amenity facilities on the one remaining undeveloped parcel in the southern campus area of Alderley Park.
The scheme consists of a range of 3 to 6 storey buildings in 3 linked "blocks" with 52 car park spaces to the north of the site.
Nether Alderley Parish Council did not support the application due to the size of the development which would have a significant impact on neighbouring residents, light pollution, parking provision totally inadequate, the Science Park should be self- funding and existing residents have invested in their homes with the belief that there would be 25 dwellings or a football pitch adjacent to them.
Over Alderley Parish Council also objected to the proposed development on the grounds "that the significant negative consequences on the surrounding rural landscape, wildlife and residential amenity cannot be justified. The intrusive scale of the proposed building, coupled with the associated light pollution and encroachment into the dark rural landscape are not considered acceptable.
"The lack of provision of affordable housing which would meet local needs, together with the creation of a distinct, retired, residential enclave is not considered to offer socio-economic benefits to the community of Over Alderley. Overall, the proposed development is considered to be out of character and an unwelcome intrusion into a highly valued rural area."
Five representations, including one from a resident of Morris Drive immediately adjacent to the site, and the Nether Alderley Rural Protection Association, have been received raising the following issues:
- Size, scale, design and exclusive nature of the proposal
- The development is outside the numbers set out in the local plan of 200-300 new homes
- The Park is being over developed having a negative impact on people's welfare
- The road infrastructure is under strain
- Harm to nature and the natural environment, destruction of Ancient woodland & protected tress
- Due to size, siting and design this development represents inappropriate development within the Green Belt.
- The development does not accord with the Masterplan for Alderley Park which designated the northern section of the Heatherley Woods site as a green open space for sports recreation.
- Flooding concerns in local water courses
- Divergence from original Planning vision and obligations – lack of on-site amenities and unbalanced community
- Impact on building lighting
- The building is not considered to be designed sympathetically to blend in with its surroundings
- Overlooking/massing issues to adjacent properties
- Concerns about the impact during the construction period
The principle of development has been established by the outline approval, and it is considered that the proposals are appropriate development in the Green Belt and in line with the general policies in the Development plan, NPPF and the Alderley Park Development Framework.
The planning officer is recommending the plans for approval at the Strategic Planning Board meeting on Wednesday, 1st March, stating the "This application is considered to be finely balanced, with the following issues counting against the proposals:
- This is a large building which will have some visual impact, in particular on the residents of the newly constructed Bellway properties
- There will be some tree losses and impacts, that can only be in part mitigated for
- The affordable housing provision does not meet the policy requirements
In support of the application are:
- A high-quality development that will contribute positively to Alderley Park
- The development will directly contribute to key worker housing
- The development will contribute towards new build life science accommodation - the unique contribution Alderley Park makes, and the reasons behind its Planning Policy allocation.
Concluding "The contribution to the wider objectives associated the delivery of life science employment uses and the wider economic benefits tip the balance in favour of supporting this application."
The plans can be viewed on the Cheshire East Council Planning Portal by searching for planning reference 22/2819M.