Proposals for up to 107 homes on the greenfield site off Macclesfield Road, Whaley Bridge, are back on the agenda. High Peak Borough Council are to consult yet again with residents regarding the inclusion of this site in the Local Plan, and in a surprise move National developer Gladman has taken space in a local newspaper to ask Whaley Bridge residents what they think of new plans they have drawn up.
Many people thought that this greenfield site had been excluded, following local consultations by the planning authority, High Peak Borough Council, last year. Whaley Bridge people and councillors at that time demanded that brownfield sites be developed before houses were planned on greenfield sites. However, in a late amendment to the plan, borough planners added the site back into the draft plan, in order to make up the numbers.
When this became apparent, Whaley Bridge Town Council Chair, Martin Thomas immediately wrote to the Borough Council Leader and planning officials expressing the Council’s dismay, and that of Whaley Bridge residents over this amendment, given the level of past objections He also asked that the Landscape Impact Study which includes this site be made available for public scrutiny, prior to any final decision on this site.
This publication has been agreed. However, on the night of Wednesday evening 18th December 2013, a motion by Cllr John Pritchard to withdraw this site from the draft Local plan was unsupported. Consequently this site was voted through by High Peak Borough Councillors, pending the outcome of a new round of consultation with local residents and publication of the Landscape Impact study.
The following day, Congleton-based Gladman Developments made known its own intentions, and opened a pre-planning application consultation.
Gladman offers the public ‘an opportunity to comment on and influence the planning of this site’. This consultation is coming ahead of any planning application.
The site, at just under 16 acres, lies in the triangle south of Macclesfield Road and Linglongs Road. Gladman say the new ‘quality family homes’ would include at least 30 per cent affordable homes, suitable for local people.
In a letter to Whaley Bridge Town Council, Gladman say: “We recognise that new development can affect communities in different ways and would welcome the opportunity to meet with representatives from Whaley Bridge Town Council to explore how such a development can be formulated to respond positively to the needs of the community.
“Engaging with stakeholders early in the planning process helps us better understand any concerns or aspirations of the community and allows us to provide solutions as part of the proposals rather than as an afterthought.”
Gladman offers further details of the new project on the website www.your-views.co.uk/whaleybridge. You may also write to: Your Views Whaley Bridge, Gladman House, Alexandria Way, Congleton CW12 1LB.
Whaley Bridge Town Council has this as an agenda item for its next meeting on 16th January, 2014.