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Core strategy reveals new school and 550 homes proposal for Knutsford
A NEW school and 550 homes will be built in Knutsford as Cheshire East Council today revealed the details of its ‘core strategic’ Local Plan for the town.
The future of Knutsford is part of a local plan project across the whole of Cheshire East, which group leaders of the council will discuss at a meeting at the authority’s Sandbach headquarters today, Wednesday.
Work on enhancing King Street for pedestrians, improvements in road infrastructure, moving Egerton Primary School to north Knutsford, creating a new medical centre and a revamp for Canute Place are also set to be included in the plan – in addition to the creation of 550 homes.
Clr Michael Jones told the Guardian that Knutsford people had come up with the idea to move some homes planned for the north west of the town to a plot of land next to the former Red Cross Cottage Hospital on Northwich Road.
He added that along with the plans for homes on a site north of Parkgate, this would mean only 300 homes would be built on green belt land in the town – less than was originally proposed in the draft document.
A further plot for 150 homes will be created on Manchester Road – next to Knutsford FC’s ground – as well as an area for businesses behind the Land Rover/Rolls Royce garage.
“People in Knutsford will be very happy,” Clr Jones said.
“All the residents’ groups have a right to be listened to about their area.
“In Knutsford they’ve got one of the most important towns in Cheshire East.
“It’s the only plan where the residents have changed their minds but have come back in agreement with us, which is fantastic.
“Rather than increasing the size of villages in the north and south, we are proposing a new village called the North Cheshire Growth Village in Handforth East.”
He added that plans for houses – mooted by Bruntwood earlier this year – had not been included in the plan.
“We’re not putting anything in for Booths Hall because they’ve not put anything forward,” he said.
Clr David Brown, deputy leader of the council, said areas of Knutsford – including part of north Knutsford, near Tabley Hill Lane – will also be safeguarded, meaning it cannot be built on until 2030.
“If you’re going to make any changes to greenbelt we should only do it in one plan and not in consecutive plans,” he said.
“It won’t be built on until 2030 and will only be done if there is justification.”
This stage of the Local Plan, entitled the ‘Core Strategy’, will be lodged with the planning inspectorate around the end of the year.
l What do you think about the authority’s plans for Knutsford?
AS part of the Local Plan vision, £1 billion will be invested into the road infrastructure to ensure connectivity across the borough promotes business and employment opportunities.
Loss of the greenbelt was a contentious issue for many campaign groups, but it now looks as if less than one per cent of the greenbelt will be developed.
The council’s Brownfield First policy has ensured the borough’s greenbelt will be protected as much as possible.
The proposed Core Strategy sites of the Local Plan will go to the council’s Strategic Planning Board on September 26. The board will also be asked if they consider further public consultation is necessary.
The final Core Strategy Local Plan will then be completed and presented to a future meeting of full council.
To have your say on the next stage of the Local Plan visit cheshireeast.gov.uk/local plan. Public representations made at this stage will go direct to the planning inspector via this link.
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