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Housing Developments in Haslington

Last updated on August 26, 2013

Questions and Answers

1 – There have been several applications or proposals for large residential developments around Haslington in the past few months, the questions and answers below may help you understand some of the background to what is going on.

2 – Councillor Michael Jones, Leader of Cheshire East Council has been invited by Haslington Parish Council to talk at a meeting on Monday 2nd September at the Yoxall Village Hall, between 19:30 and 20:30.  Cllr Jones would like to address residents about our planning concerns and will be able to answer questions. All residents are welcome to attend.

Am. 26/8/13

Who makes decisions on planning applications in Haslington? Cheshire East Council is the planning authority.  Decisions are made either by planning officers (employees) or planning committees (elected councillors).
What rules are there? There are National Guidelines and Policies that are enforced by the government in London and local plans and policies set up by Cheshire East Council.
Where does Haslington Parish Council fit in? Haslington Parish Council is asked to comment on all planning applications in the parish of Haslington which also includes Winterley and Oakhanger.  The parish council are also able to comment on applications outside the parish where this could impact our residents.
How are the rules set? Central government issues policies to control where development is to be spread throughout the whole country.  They are very keen for new development to take place to revive the economy; The government believes employment on building sites and buying construction materials can quickly improve the UK economy.
What is the “Local Plan”? This is a large document that contains rules for our local council area on what development should take place and where.  This takes account of where new jobs will be created, where schools, major roads, health facilities and new houses should be built in a carefully planned way so that land is used efficiently and development is spread fairly across all of Cheshire East.   This should protect open countryside and prevent smaller villages such as Haslington from merging into Crewe.  The plan will propose various strategic sites that will be developed in successive 5 year plan periods.

Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council had a Local Plan that has now expired.  A local plan takes a lot of effort to gather in requirements and the views of residents before it can be published, the Cheshire East local plan is not fully ready yet, though parts of it have been published as consultation drafts.

What is the five year supply and why is it so important? Central Government has decided that all Councils should have 5 years supply of land available with either planning permission or allocated in their “Local Plan”.  This is reviewed each year in a publication called the SHLAA, which considers sites all over Cheshire East and determines if they meet agreed policies and could be developed in the next 5 years (or 10 or 15 years).  Cheshire East Council believe the SHLAA provides more than 5 years worth of suitable development sites.   If councils do not have an agreed local plan, speculative developers can propose developments in the open countryside that do not need to match the draft plan policies.  Developers can take a refusal to allow development to a government inspector who is likely to grant approval if it meets central government policy.  There are a large number of planning “appeals” waiting to be considered by the inspector around Crewe and Sandbach.
What types of planning permission are there? (1) Full permission where everything is considered at once, allowing the builder to start work very quickly

(2) Outline, where the principle of development on an area of land is approved, this usually includes details of access to the site, is money required from the developer towards extending local schools, play areas and other local facilities.

(3) Reserved Matters, this upgrades an outline permission to full permission by agreeing all the missing details about the style of houses and the site layout.

How long does permission last? Generally three years, though once permission has been given it is likely that requests to renew will be granted.
Does planning permission force you to build? A developer has to comply with all the conditions in the planning permission, but they are not forced to start or finish building.  Developers may “bank” the permission waiting for house and land prices to increase before they start to build.
Where can be developed? The Crewe and Nantwich plan allowed development inside the settlement boundaries of certain villages such as Haslington and Winterley if certain strict conditions were met.  There were strict policies preventing most new building in the “Green Gap” between Crewe and the surrounding villages and open countryside/farmland.  Communities without settlement boundaries such as Oakhanger had even stricter rules restricting development.

Central Government wants to encourage developers to build on any land that is part of a sustainable community.  Sustainability is a measure of what facilities an area has e.g. how far to a Post Office, Supermarket, Cash point, Doctors Surgery, School, playground, Bus route etc.  Developers may have to contribute quite large sums of money towards improvements if facilities like schools need to expand.  Haslington is considered very sustainable, Winterley is not sustainable as it has few facilities.

Is land available in Haslington? Full planning permission has been given for 11 houses on a field off The Gutterscroft, 6 houses between Fields Road and South Avenue.  Outline permission exists for 44 houses off Vicarage Road.
What if land with planning permission is sold? The new owner would expect to take over the planning permission that had been granted to the land.  A new owner like Elan Homes can buy the land with outline permission from Muller Developments and apply to upgrade this to full permission.
What is pre-application consultation? National policy encourages developers to consult with neighbours and residents before a major planning application is submitted.  Cheshire East also encourages developers to meet with them so that they know what reports would be required e.g. traffic survey if congestion is likely, environmental impact if in a sensitive wildlife area etc.  Cheshire East would also make the developer aware of capacity issues with local schools and the potential size of a monetary contribution required if planning was to be approved, number and type of affordable homes that are required.  A developer can also ask for a pre-application discussion with your parish council – Muller Developments came to present their proposals for Vicarage Road, Richborough Estates with Hazel Bank have not.  Your parish council made it very clear to Muller Developments that residents and councillors thought the proposals were not acceptable – however they were able to convince Cheshire East planners and a planning committee that it was acceptable and outline permission was approved.
Why do potential developers have exhibitions, websites etc.? As part of the planning process developers need to show that they have asked local residents about potential new developments. They may then take account of your ideas and concerns before submitting a formal application.  A recent exhibition in Alsager for a development at White Moss Quarry in Oakhanger found very high levels of support from residents.
Consultation on Planning Applications If an application is submitted to Cheshire East they will:

  • publish a formal notice at the proposed development site for the public to see, this will include a date by when comments need to be received
  • will write to the immediate neighbours letting them know how to find out more detail
  • will publish the application plans and supporting documents on the Cheshire East web site.  Copies of any comments or objections are also published alongside the application

All residents are able to submit written comments in support or objection to the application.

What about houses for sale? Most of the houses for sale in Haslington are still lived in, people are trying to move to smaller or larger houses as their needs change, some are trying to move out of the area but very few are empty and ready to be reoccupied.

 

(Cllr Richard Hovey – Chairman)

6 Comments

  1. Annom
    Annom August 28, 2013

    Why here?

  2. Mike Bratt
    Mike Bratt August 30, 2013

    Ref Vicarage Rd Development.

    1/ Insufficient parking provision for residence of Vicarage Road.

    2/ NO PROVISION at all has been made for Cartwright Road residence parking. The plan should respect that the existing residence need to park as close to their properties as possible and the only way that Cartwright Road may be made safe for both existing and new residence is for provision of parking for all on the new development.

    This may be facilitated by new houses 1 to 6 being removed from the plan to make way for the above additional parking and houses 7 to 11 rotated 90 degrees in order that No 11 is adjacent to No 12 (Numbering as on existing plan).

    3/ No development should go ahead until the junction of Cartwright Road and Crewe Road has been upgraded with traffic calming (raised platform) and an island to assist crossing of school children alighting from the school bus.

    REF HAZEL BANK PROPOSAL

    SITE ACCESS
    The proposed access is too close to a bend in Crewe Road, is outside the village curtilage and involves removal of trees protected by existing Tree Preservation Orders. Removal of any of these trees would break the tree line which is in the wider public view. The proposal of “tree planting to strengthen the tree lined approach into the village” is nonsense as they are out of line of sight on the approach, being behind any trees that remain and visible only from the proposed development.

    The inclusion in the planning proposal of six new build dwellings outside the village curtilage on this access plot infringes the separation between the two villages of Haslington & Winterley and would give rise to further applications for developments along Crewe Road in that direction. Recent application has already been refused on this site for a smaller number of houses.

    SITE LOCATION
    Development of any of the three fields is an incursion into open countryside, all of which are outside the existing Haslington Village curtilage.
    The most north-easterly field of the three in their proposal again breaches the gap between Haslington and Winterley, as does the proposed access which I refered to above as it is also outside the Village curtilage. If permission were to be granted it would open up the prospect of further planning applications between the two villages.

    The size of the development is unsustainable in this location in many ways (see access via Park Lane for one reason) and as such is against Cheshire East Council’s emerging Local Plan which states it will “avoid loading development onto the periphery of existing constrained settlements” and “Development will be confined to small scale infill and the change of use or conversion of existing buildings”

    PUBLIC SAFETY regarding EXISTING POND
    They make reference to safety by creating “safe, attractive streets” and “safe, attractive pedestrian and cycleway connections” yet are proposing to open the wetland and existing pond to the public. The existing pond is over 15 feet deep and has practically vertical sides to most of its edges. The landowner has had to remonstrate with some local children to protect them from danger in the past.

    WATERCOURSE OWNERSHIP
    Reference in their literature is made to “protecting existing ponds and watercourses”.
    The watercourse (peripheral ditch) at the bottom of the gardens at 192 and 194 Crewe Road do not belong to the proposed site, at this location they belong to these two houses by deed. Other properties around the proposed development site will be in a similar position, being in possession of the ditch either by deed or by presumption in law (Vowles v Miller [1810]). I would hope that the council will take note of this and ask how they intend to enclose their proposed development as they say that they would “retain and strengthen the field ditches and hedgerows”.
    Will the Council be asking:-
    1/ By using the phrase “strengthen the hedgerows” do they propose a new hedge line between existing properties and their proposed development on their side of the ditch in these areas?
    2/ If this is the case, at what distance away from the ditch will they plant (I would still require access to maintain said ditch behind my property).
    3/ If they were allowed not to enclose the proposed site, how would they strengthening the banks on their side to stop possible/inevitable future erosion/collapse due to public footfall and MOST IMPORTANTLY, HOW WOULD THEY MAKE IT SAFE FOR PUBLIC ACCESS?
    4/ What assurances can they give that the proposed development will not in any way adversely affect the watercourse referred to above, both during construction and post construction?

    PROTECTION OF WILDLIFE
    Their approach to wildlife on this site seems to be a little muddled, making reference to “Wildlife Corridors” that they will protect yet say that they intend to make them into “Pocket Parks”. Parks are for people and will disturb the wildlife that frequent this little wildlife corridor. I have lots of photographic evidence of wildlife using the pond which I shall be presenting to the council if this proposal continues in this vain, a kingfisher and heron fishing, flocks of wild geese grazing on the field and using the pond etc. The pond is visited by swans and badgers that wander down to the water. This is true wildlife habitat, not duck ponds with paths round them in so called parks. The area they propose to develop is in the countryside, on the edge of a village not a town. There are few of these habitats in our area and are in existence only due to minimal and benevolent human interaction and should be left undisturbed in order that they are allowed to flourish.

    PEDESTRIAN ACCESS
    Village access via PARK LANE for this number of dwellings is madness, the road is so narrow and would be dangerous for both people on foot and cycle.

  3. Phil
    Phil August 31, 2013

    Ref Hazel Bank,
    During the short consultation period where the developers web site apologise for posting the wrong date for this,conveniently we were bombarded with literature about how good this will be for the village and what they proposed to do for us, as if they were doing the village a favour by developing this land. They, the developers have no other reason than putting money in their pockets while the rest of us suffer, with congestion, over population and insufficient resources and amenities for the increase of people this development and the one opposite on Vicarage Road will have on the village.
    There was a reason in the early 90`s that a bypass was built to take the traffic away from the village, now 260 houses with most homes having at least two cars will put a further burden on our roads, and as Mike Bratt mentioned so well, the traffic trying to get onto Crewe Road right on a bend would be very dangerous indeed.
    There are plenty of homes in Haslington that have been on the market for some time and are not selling, what makes Richborough think they can sell these.

  4. Andrea
    Andrea September 2, 2013

    This Hazel Bank development may be just the thin end of the wedge. According to Cheshire East SHLAA, the reference number for the site proposed is 2947, which also includes land on the other side of Park Road, for a total of 908 properties. If Hazel Bank gets the go ahead for 206 homes, what is to stop the remainder of the 908 properties being developed?

  5. Phil & Julie Humphrey
    Phil & Julie Humphrey November 28, 2013

    It is the extra traffic from the new houses we object to. The queue at Crewe Green is awful now and I dread it in the mornings! We know for a fact people from as far as Congleton come through Haslington instead of going on the by pass. The “village” is going to be spoilt for ever if more houses are built.
    NO to extra housing in Haslington!

  6. Mrs C Parton
    Mrs C Parton December 5, 2013

    To give the go ahead for these houses to be built would be an absolute travesty, and would lead to Haslington & Winterley losing their village identities. It is absurd to think that the current road infrastructure can cope with any more traffic. One only has to walk on the pavement from the Dingle turning to the Co-op to realise that the particular length of road & pavement is very narrow, & with the increase in traffic at peak times gives great concerns for ones safety. Please let common sense prevail.

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