RESIDENTS from a newly-formed action group staged a demonstration on Sunday to show their opposition to plans for the building of 225 houses on land at Longridge.

The demonstration was staged by Save Longridge Greenbelt, a group which has been formed by residents from the Knutsford Over Ward to fight the proposed housing development.

The group has attracted 425 signatures in a few weeks for a petition calling on Cheshire East councillors to reverse what it says is the council’s ‘flawed’ decision to remove the site to the east of Longridge from the Green Belt for the 225-home estate.

Anyone who would like to sign the petition can do so at

The demonstration was organised by Dave Hawkins and John Finnan, who said the land earmarked for the housing was popular with local residents and was used by a special needs school.

Dave said: “Following the success of the on-going petition, attracting over 400 signatures in three weeks, calling on Cheshire East Council to scrap a controversial housing development on green belt land at Longridge, a gathering of residents met alongside the proposed development to demonstrate their opposition.

“The petition and demonstration are the latest initiative by Knutsford Over Ward's Save Longridge Greenbelt, a new local residents activist group pushing back against the construction of 225 houses.”

The group said the site was considered to be rewilded, having not been farmed for 50 years and gradually returned to its natural habitat, and the sale of 225 new houses would generate £113 million.

The petition states: “The land has a unique ecology and civic amenity role, evolved over 50 years of natural re-wilding and public access.

“It is four acres of former pasture, ancient hedgerows and woods, left fallow for 60 years and re-wilded, now home to hundreds of species of flora and fauna, birds and insects, and part of a three-kilometre ‘Wildlife Corridor’ from Boothsmere to Tatton Park.”

Draft proposals for up to 225 homes on the land went on display in May at a consultation event at The Welcome in Longridge.

The event was attended by more than 100 people and formed part on a community consultation by Emery Planning on behalf of Dewscope Ltd, which aims to provide a mix of two to five-bedroom properties on the site, 67 of which would be affordable homes.