OFFICE space at Booths Park in Chelford Road will double under plans approved by Cheshire East Council.
The authority’s Strategic Planning Committee gave the green light to Bruntwood to demolish buildings in the existing car parking area at the site and create two new three-storey, and one two-story office blocks.
The three buildings will create space for an additional 1,300 new jobs, with a new under croft car parking area excavated to meet demand.
The scheme also outlines provision for a shuttle bus to operate from the town centre and station to the business park.
High Legh clr, Steve Wilkinson, said he was ‘gobsmacked’ that Bruntwood were only providing £400,000 Section 106 money for junction improvements in Knutsford instead of the £600,000 instructed by the planning officer in line with the emerging Cheshire East Local Plan.
Bill Davidson, speaking for Bruntwood, replied that the sum was a ‘significant contribution’ to a ‘pot’ of money that would be later supplemented when further developments outlined in the plan are brought forward in Knutsford.
Clr Wilkinson added that Knutsford was too busy at peak times to accommodate the shuttle bus idea.
“Where oh where in Knutsford are you going to park a shuttle bus to let people off? Knutsford, as you know, is a nightmare,” he said.
Chelford councillor, George Walton said Booths Lane was a ‘fantastic site’, but raised concerns about light pollution from increased buildings.
Speaking at the meeting on Wednesday, February 5, Brian Chaplin from the South Knutsford Residents’ Group, added: “Residents are not opposed per se to economic development of this kind. They are, however, opposed to elevated levels of traffic, particularly as it enters and leaves Knutsford.
“They worried about potentially doubling the traffic on Goughs Lane.”
Mr Chaplin also called for weight restrictions to be imposed on Goughs Lane to prevent heavy goods vehicles using it as a cut through to Toft Road.
Councillors unanimously agreed the application, agreeing to add a weight consideration to Goughs Lane for future discussions.
In the same week Bruntwood gained permission it told the Guardian current space at the site was fully let (turn to page 20 for more).