RESIDENTS groups are calling for improvements to a major housing scheme to make it the ‘high quality development Knutsford deserves’.

The call comes from groups who have raised concerns over plans by the Tatton Estate for 235 houses and apartments on land north of the Parkgate Industrial Estate.

Brian Chaplin from South Knutsford Residents Group told town councillors on Monday the residents groups wished to see the 40-acre site developed, but a number of issues still needed to be addressed.

He said until they had been resolved the scheme ‘won’t be the high quality development the site and the town deserves’.

The scheme won outline approval in 2015, and approval is now sought for matters including appearance, landscaping, layout and scale.

Mr Chaplin was speaking at the town council’s planning committee, which is due to discuss the scheme next Monday.

He said: “We recognise the site has a number of underlying disadvantages that need to be taken into account - with Tatton Park to the north - a sensitive site, and Parkgate Industrial Estate to the south, with noise and industrial processes.

“It’s under the flight path to Manchester Airport, and the sole access is by means of a road of inadequate capacity.

“There isn’t a fully-developed affordable housing scheme – and the upmarket and affordable homes are separate, contrary to Cheshire East’s policy of pepper-potting affordable homes within developments.

“There are a number of quite cramped areas – suburban streets with awkward parking arrangements, and many of the dwellings have tiny rooms.

“The design of the apartments is monolithic - it’s quite clear what their intention is - largely to deflect sound from the Parkgate Industrial Estate.

“The application lacks a visual impact assessment and computer-generated visualisations of the effectiveness of the landscaping towards Tatton Park.”

He said most of these weaknesses could be overcome by redesign, although the access road issue would require local authority and possibly even national government to help resolve that, particularly if the entrance through Rookswood Way was to be pursued.

A report by Pegasus Group with the application said 20-metre and 30-metre landscape buffers were provided respectively alongside the south-eastern and south-western boundaries.

It added: “Sufficient spacing has been provided between the units to adhere to the Council Residential Design Guide… with the scale of the proposals being carefully considered in terms of visual impact and amenity.

“The design of the scheme attempts to set a new design precedent for the area with a ‘blank canvas’ approach.

“The proposals provide a varied mix of house sizes, and will thereby help to achieve a mixed community and deliver real housing choice to Knutsford and the wider Cheshire area.”

A decision on the application is due by July 30.