OUTRAGED villagers are demanding that hardstanding and security fencing on land in Mobberley is removed and the site reinstated to a field.

The residents are furious at what Mobberley Parish Council slammed as ‘catastrophic unauthorised’ work at the field off Moss Lane.

Dozens of villagers have written to Cheshire East Council to express their anger at the work which has taken place and to call for the land to be returned to its original condition.

The residents are suspicious the site may be turned into a travellers’ site or airport parking, and are opposing an application to vary a condition of approved plans for the building of a stable block on the site and changing its use to equestrian.

Chris Dring from Huddersfield is seeking approval from Cheshire East to reword a condition to amend the approved site plan to show an area of temporary hardstanding.

A Moss Lane resident wrote to the council, saying: “This is a retrospective application for substantial engineering works that commenced in mid-February without planning permission.”

They said works completed so far included hardstanding to an area far wider than shown in the plans, and a 1.8-metre metal fence and 1.8-metre high boarded fence, neither shown in the plans.

The stable block and change of land use to equestrian were approved in November 2017.

A fellow Moss Lane resident said: “We have been residents of Moss Lane for 25 years, and have never encountered any similar local destruction of the Green Belt in such a ruthless and brutal fashion.

“The proposed development contravenes Green Belt policy. The development completed to date adversely impacts on the openness of the Green Belt with a significant area of hardstanding.

“The erection of high security fence now standing where an open field surrounded by ancient hedgerow once stood could not more starkly contravene Green Belt Policy.

“It is a realistic concern, taking into account the identity of the applicant and the manner of the works performed to date, in addition to the flagrant disregard for the existing hedgerows and open field, that the real purpose behind this application is the creation of a car park with no links to a supposed equestrian centre.

“The development does not logically support the stated aim of creating an equestrian centre. The area of hardstanding is only suitable for vehicles.

“The erection high security fencing supports the concern that this proposed development has little to do with its stated reason.

“We ask Cheshire East to reject this application and enforce the return of the site to its original condition without delay.”

A resident of Knutsford Road, Mobberley said: “Sadly - and without permission - the site has already been defaced and should be returned to its original green belt condition.

“Equestrianism is being used as motive for destroying pristine agricultural acreage.”

Another Moss Lane resident said: “The substantial engineering works completed are more in line with an urban industrial development than a relatively small equestrian facility on green belt land.

“The fact they have been completed with no prior planning approval shows a complete disregard for the planning permission already granted and makes a mockery of Cheshire East's planning laws.

“If permission is granted this will represent a catastrophic impact on the green belt.

“We urge Cheshire East Council to take immediate action to ensure these works are removed and the land is reinstated as a matter of urgency.”

A resident of Paddock Hill, Mobberley said: “The changes that have already been made are a complete eyesore.

“The hard-standing stone and metal security fencing installed are completely inappropriate and the disregard of trees and hedging that have been removed without planning permission is astounding.

“I demand that Cheshire East fully investigate the plans for this site, and if the applicant is in breach of any conditions that the site is returned to the condition prior to any unauthorised work.

“I also ask that a full consultation is held before any changes are made to any planning applications for this site and conferred with the local residents like myself.”

The Mobberley Parish Council clerk said the council strongly objected to the application.

They said: “They believe the application is flawed as the hard-standing area is not shown on the submitted plan and, on these grounds alone, should be refused.

“The engineering works that have taken place are all retrospective and so much more than a variation of condition.

“[The] ancient hedge line has been ripped out and replaced by green mesh security fencing, which is totally unsympathetic and not in keeping with the surrounding area of green belt.

“The field has been desecrated by removing large areas of grassland and replacing it with a metalled surface.

“We see no justification for any of the retrospective works and find it totally implausible that the applicant states that temporary hard standing to this scale is required to build three stables and a tack room.

“MPC also have grave concerns about the true intention of this build. The applicant lives in Huddersfield and is part owner of Atlas Secure Airport Parking.

“We are also led to believe there are traveller connections to the site.

“Therefore, we ask that Cheshire East reject this application on the grounds that the green belt has been severely injured, by the catastrophic unauthorised works that have been carried out.”

A decision on the application is due by July 15.

Charlotte Leach, Cheshire East councillor for Mobberley said: “Since being elected just over a month ago this issue has been raised so by many local residents and I have been working hard on their behalf to ensure it is quickly resolved.

"Clearly it is unacceptable that the site has been built on without the applicant seeking planning permission from Cheshire East Council in the first instance.

"I am hopeful that the application will be refused and then enforcement action will be pursued as soon as possible so that the site can be returned to its original condition."