HOLMES Chapel is due to get 160 new houses after councillors approved the relocation of a major local employer.

At Cheshire East’s southern planning committee, members agreed that Fine Art, based at Victoria Mills, could relocate to new premises in Winsford.

A previously condition of planning permission for the site, granted in August 2012, stipulated Fine Art must remain within the borough of Cheshire East.

During the planning meeting on Wednesday, January 15, councillors expressed their surprise that the business had been unable to find anywhere within the borough to relocate.

A report by interim planning and place shaping manager, David Malcolm, states: “Agents have been looking for suitable premises for the past year.

“Council officers from the economic development team have also recently worked with Fine Décor to try and establish whether there are any suitable premises within Cheshire East that could accommodate the relocated business.

“Six individual sites across Cheshire East have been discounted due to constraints on the size of unit, potential build time, costs and location such that they have been unable to secure suitable premises.”

He added: “It would clearly be preferable for the existing business to be relocated within Cheshire East and it is disappointing that appropriate premises cannot be found.

“However, the current business supports some 200 jobs within the locality and therefore does have a clear economic benefit that would not just be restricted to its location in Winsford. It is therefore considered that varying the agreement would be acceptable.” The new houses would include 15 per cent affordable dwellings.