DOZENS of residents are up in arms over plans for three five-bedroom houses on farmland off Hollies Lane in Wilmslow.

Hartford Homes is seeking approval from Cheshire East Council for the houses, but faces opposition from residents, Wilmslow Civic Trust and Wilmslow Town Council.

Concerns raised include building in the Green Belt, increasing traffic in a narrow lane and the ‘destruction of an ancient hedgerow’.

Wilmslow Civic Trust said the site was in the Green Belt and of Special County Value, and added to the open visual appeal of Hollies Lane.

The trust said: “Large houses of this nature are now surplus to the requirements of Wilmslow, especially as development in the borough is ahead of the Local Plan requirements for this size of dwelling, where smaller dwellings are needed instead.

“The ancient boundary hedge, shown being punctured by access points, is protected by the Enclosure Act of 1841 and Hedgerow Regulations Act 1997.

“This dominant, over-dense and insensitively-designed housing proposal is not worthy of a place in Hollies Lane.”

Knutsford Guardian:

The site plan

Wilmslow Town Council recommend refusal of the application as being inappropriate development in the Green Belt without special circumstances, out of line with Wilmslow Neighbourhood Plan policy and out of keeping with existing buildings in respect of housing density.

A report with the application said: “The proposed development will be in keeping with the pattern of infill in the village of Dean Row that has previously been found to be acceptable, without impacting on the wider countryside.

“The proposals would not have an adverse impact on the amenity of the adjacent properties, and the size and scale of the three houses, their design, position and orientation on site, will be in keeping with the location.

“The proposed development will not impact negatively on existing highways and footpaths, with vehicular and pedestrian access maintained for existing residents.”

Comments from residents opposing the plans include the following.

“If this application is approved it will set a precedent for unwelcome change and spoil one of the most peaceful and rural roads in Wilmslow.”

“Three substantially large, and therefore ‘unaffordable’ dwellings are far more than ‘limited infilling’, and does not offer anything for the community.”

Knutsford Guardian:

An illustration of one of the houses

“I oppose the destruction of a piece of land and ancient hedgerow that is extremely biodiverse and home to many animals including bats and newts.”

“The addition of three large houses at the end of the lane would detrimentally affect the other neighbours by adding increased traffic to a very small and narrow lane due to the number of new residents who would reside there.”

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“The area referred to as The Paddock has not been touched for over 300 years; one can only imagine the natural importance of this piece of land. To churn the earth up to satisfy the pockets of a landowner and developer would be criminal.”

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“Hollies Lane does not have a footpath and would not be suitable for one. The lane is used by walkers gaining access to the right of way path to the Bollin Valley Way. The new access points and the vehicle traffic would create added risk for these walkers and their dogs.”