PLANS to transform an empty shop and add five apartments to the heart of Alderley Edge have been rebuffed by councillors.

CCM Industries wanted to knock through the former Cedrics Chemist site, in London Road, and the next-door unit, currently occupied by Cancer Research UK, and extend the site to create a 2,000sq ft retail unit.

The developer also wanted to convert the office space on the first and second floors into five, two-bedroom apartments, with underground parking for 10 cars accessed from The Avenue to the rear.

Cheshire East Council officers had recommended the scheme for approval, but at a meeting on Wednesday, members of the northern planning committee snubbed their advice.

Angela Mealing, the agent representing CCM, told the committee: “The site before you constitutes a highly-sustainable development within a defined local service centre.

“It will positively contribute to the vitality and viability of the village centre. The proposed use is wholly appropriate for the location.”

Officers agreed that the development would have been sustainable, but both the Edge Association and Alderley Edge Parish Council objected to the scheme.

They both suggested the proposal was too large for the site – impacting on the privacy of residents across The Avenue – while also raising concerns about the limited access to the site from The Avenue.

Cllr Mike Dudley-Jones, from Alderley Edge Parish Council, added: “It is too much, in too small a space, affecting the lives of too many people.”

Opening the debate, Cllr Craig Browne, independent CEC member for Alderley Edge, told the committee that the development would be damaging to the village’s conservation area.

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He said: “I see this almost as two applications in one really, and in some ways I wish it had come forward has two separate applications.

“I think you would probably be hard pressed to find a resident that does not agree with the need to redevelop the shop units which front on to London Road.

“But with the same token I think you would be hard pressed to find a resident that does agree with the accommodation at the rear, in the manner in which it is currently being proposed.”

Cllr Hilda Gaddum, Conservative, praised the attempt to put flats above the shops – but suggested to put five on the site is ‘too intense’.

Cllr Alift Harewood, Labour, added: “I think it is an overdevelopment, the roads are very narrow, parking is very iffy and people can’t live there. I don’t think ‘existence’ is allowed to be supported.”

Members unanimously voted to reject the scheme on the grounds of its overbearing impact on neighbouring properties.