ESTHER McVey has spoken out against the proposed increased in homes on The Crown Estate’s Northwich Road housing site.

The development was initially set for 175 homes, with consultations taking place based on that figure before plans were submitted for 260 homes – an increase of 85.

Having met with The Crown Estate in Westminster, Tatton MP Ms McVey has called for them to return to the drawing board for North West Knutsford plans.

She said: “The pre-planning consultations and conversations with local community groups were based on 175 homes and the Cheshire East Council local plan also lists that number.

"But now we have a situation where the submitted plan shows 260 homes. This is an unacceptable increase given that the infrastructure necessary to sustain the site, which is in the plan, is based on the lower figure.

“This increase sets a totally unacceptable precedent in the first application to come forward following the adoption of the local plan.”

In a formal submission to CEC’s planning department, the MP outlines concerns about insufficient infrastructure and the land’s risk of flooding, as well as the potential strain on public services.

Comments are open until November 21, with dozens of members of the public already voicing their opinions.

Ms McVey said: “The CEC local plan suggests that a development should provide easy access to education and health facilities, via foot, cycle or public transport. This development currently fails that test.”

Steve Melligan, strategic land manager for The Crown Estate, said: “Both CEC and the Government have identified an urgent need for new homes in Knutsford.

"While this site was originally earmarked to deliver 175 new homes, further assessments, undertaken in close consultation with CEC, have shown that an increase to 260 would make a more efficient use of a site this size.

“This will help to meet housing need, in keeping with the area. Much work has been undertaken throughout the design process to ensure that it is in keeping with the nearby residential areas, both in density and design.

“Our proposals include significant infrastructure improvements, including a new roundabout at the Northwich Road/Sudlow Lane junction, and we are also developing proposals for improvements to the Canute Place roundabout.

"Walking and cycle routes are also incorporated throughout, along with a playing pitch, allotments and community orchard.

“As part of the planning process, CEC will carry out its own statutory consultation with local residents around the revised housing figure of 260 homes. We strongly encourage people to respond and have their say.

“We will continue to work closely with the council and the local community in order to make our plans for North West Knutsford a success.”