Fight over new Whaley Bridge housing development continues

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A controversial planning application for 107 houses in Whaley Bridge has only been partially passed by councillors.

Outline planning permission was granted by High Peak Borough Councillors at a Development and Control meeting in 2015 but more detailed plans came before the committee last week. Councillors agreed to changes in several conditions but went against officer recommendations and rejected the changes which related to open space provision.

Chairman of the meeting councillor Dave Lomax said: “The first part was passed through but the second, relating to open space, was not.

“Councillors had a long discussion over this and there was a lot of objection to Barratt Homes with people still thinking this was about the houses themselves.

“That battle was lost a long time ago when planning was approved for the site years ago and at this recent meeting we were discussing the specific details of the plans.

“This has been a very confusing application which has been submitted several times with changes and amendments and each time people have had to resubmit their concerns which hasn’t helped the process.”

Barratt Homes, which has taken on the development from Gladman, has outline permission to build 107 new homes on greenfield land off Linglongs Road. Now rubber-stamped, the development would feature a mixture of two and three-bedroom semi-detached and four and five-bedroom detached properties, with associated access and parking and 30 per cent of the houses must be affordable.

Speaking after the meeting, Whaley Bridge Matters action group, which was has actively campaigned against the proposals, said: “Despite our strong objections, the application was passed.

“However, the wider proposals did come under significant criticism from several councillors. Even though the conditions have been amended, the plans will still require approval at reserved matters stage - where councillors will be looking at the full details.

“More positively, following a number of arguments being put forward by Whaley Bridge Matters, the deed of variation application was refused.

“As things stand, this means that Barratts will need to have both a management plan and management company for open space set up and in place ready for scrutiny with the reserved matters.”

What changes have been made?

The first point of the application, which received 30 letters of objection but was approved, wanted to change several planning conditions.

This means that the development will now keep existing trees on the site where it is justified to do so; the access points for cyclists and pedestrians, including the junction arrangements at Macclesfield Road and throughout the site, will be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority; the access point on Linglongs Road has now been moved further south.

The open spaces element, which was recommended for approval but refused by councillors, now means Barratt Homes has to submit a management plan for the future maintenance of the open space provision.