Plans to demolish two houses on Holly Road South and replace them with 34 retirement apartments, along with a lodge managers office and reception, communal facilities, guest suite and car parking, are due to be determined by the Northern Planning Committee next week.
In February, Churchill Retirement Living were declined planning permission (ref 22/2347M) to demolish two detached homes at 17 & 19 Holly Road South and replace them with 34 retirement apartments for the over 60s.
This latest application (ref 23/0853M) seeks to overcome the previous reasons for refusal:
- The proposals fail to provide on-site affordable housing or open space and does not provide a mechanism to secure requisite affordable housing, health and open space and recreation contributions towards off site provision.
- Insufficient information has been submitted with the application in order to assess adequately the impact of the proposed development on existing trees on site.
- The proposed development would result in a lack of on site parking which would lead to on street parking pressure in the vicinity of the site to the detriment of the free flow of traffic.
Churchill Living subsequently lodged an appeal against Cheshire East Council for refusing planning permission and, in an unusual move, the Chief Executive removed the two reasons relating to lack of parking and failure to provide on-site affordable housing or open space. Leaving the potential impact on existing trees, due to a lack of information being provided, as the only reason for refusal.
The Planning Officer is recommending this latest application (ref 23/0853M) for approval at the Northern Planning Committee meeting on Wednesday 7th June.
The application seeks to address the 3 reasons for refusal with an updated affordable housing statement and viability position, additional information regarding long term protection of trees and further commentary of parking requirements for this form of development.
In the report prepared for the planning committee meeting the planning officer states "Due to the sustainable location close to public transport links, and the stance taken with similar development found acceptable at appeal, the proposed level of parking would be satisfactory to accommodate the likely demand for parking spaces generated by the development and evidence from the applicant regarding trip generation is accepted and is unlikely to lead to an unacceptable impact on highway safety or through cumulative impacts, lead to congestion on the road network.
"The proposals will not result in a loss of biodiversity or harm protected species nor increase flood risk or concerns regarding noise and air pollution. The proposals are considered to have an acceptable impact on trees within and adjacent the site.
"Whilst there is some conflict with policies relating to open space provision, and the scheme does not provide 30% affordable housing, the applicant has provided detailed viability information which demonstrates such planning obligations would significantly affect the viability of the scheme. In this case, it is considered that the social benefits that arise from the provision of housing for older people in a very sustainable location, the application's compliance with policy SC5 of the CELPS by reason of an independently appraised viability report, and the nature of the scheme meaning that anticipated impacts upon the nearest areas of public open space in Wilmslow being relatively low, it is considered that these factors outweigh any open space policy conflict, and shortage of affordable housing. The proposal is therefore a sustainable development, and accordingly, the application is recommended for approval subject to a s106 agreement and conditions."
The planning application ((ref 23/0853M)) is recommended for approval subject to a S106 agreement to secure:
- A financial contribution of £19,977 to the NHS towards increasing capacity at the local GP surgery at Wilmslow Health Centre;
- A financial contribution of £240,023 be spent towards the provision of off-site affordable housing.
David Malcolm, Head of Planning at Cheshire East Council, is also recommending that the authority does not defend their reason for refusing the previous application (lack of tree info), reference 22/2347M, at the upcoming appeal which is scheduled to be held over 4 days from June 27th.
In a report prepared for the Northern Planning Committee meeting on Wednesday 7th June, Mr Malcolm states "The missing tree information has been provided as part of the re-submitted planning application (23/0853M) and this information satisfies the Council's Tree Officer that the proposed development would not have an unacceptable impact on trees, subject to conditions being imposed.
"This information has now also been provided in relation to the appeal. As such, there is now no technical tree objections to the upcoming appeal that the Council could effectively defend."
There are financial implications should the Council decide not to defend the appeal as there may be a costs award against Cheshire East for unreasonable behaviour.