THE development of a garden village at Handforth has moved a step closer.

A village with 1,500 new homes, up to 12 hectares of employment land, a new centre, a school and extensive open space is due to be built on the other side of the A34, opposite Handforth Dean.

Cheshire East Council says it will 'create a bespoke village community with high-quality design housing' along with green corridors, playing fields, allotments, orchards and arts and heritage trails.

And on Tuesday, cabinet members gave the green light for CEC's legal team to resolve any outstanding issues standing in the way of the major development.

Cllr Nick Mannion, cabinet member for environment and regeneration, said: “This is an exciting scheme to deliver much-needed housing and jobs in the north of the borough – and we need to be able to move forwards without hindrance due to any outstanding rights issues.

Knutsford Guardian:

“Most of the beneficiaries of the existing rights are in dialogue with the council regarding the delivery of the garden village scheme.

"A key element of the council’s delivery strategy is to ensure that all parcels of development land have the necessary rights for access and utilities.

“As such, where the exercise of an existing right conflicts with the development proposals for the garden village, the council is committed to either modifying that right or to replacing it with a new alternative right."

Cllr Mannion added that compensation for any loss of rights from the development is only expected to be a small cost to CEC.

The local authority is the lead developer for the scheme, and its strategy was approved by the previous Conservative cabinet in September 2018.

Seventy per cent of the land allocated for the garden village is owned by the council, while the remaining 30 per cent is owned by third parties.

CEC says the project should create more than 300 construction jobs and 470 supply chain jobs during the delivery phase.

It also estimates the scheme will deliver a further 600 jobs directly and 150 supply chain jobs due to the new commercial and community uses created and the increased expenditure in the local area.

A planning application for a 'park and ride' near Handforth train station, linking to the garden village, is currently being considered.

Cllr Craig Browne, deputy leader, added: “I am determined that the garden village will have cycling and walking routes and that the final scheme will also be supported by a park-and-ride facility as well as a new bus route providing connectivity with Handforth railway station and Wilmslow.

Knutsford Guardian:

“Our world-leading bioscience hub at Alderley Park will create significant employment and economic growth opportunities over the next few years and I am keen to make sure that as many of those opportunities as possible are taken up by people living within Cheshire East.

"For this reason, multi-modal connectivity between the proposed development site and the bioscience hub will be essential.”

The garden village is a site of around 120 hectares and is allocated for housing in CEC's local plan.

A new planning application for the scheme will be considered later in the year.