PLANNING permission is being sought to put up a stable block and storage barn on Mobberley land at the centre of a major controversy over proposed pitches for caravans.

Applicant Michael Maloney is seeking approval to change the use of the site off Broad Oak Lane to station caravans for residential purposes for three Gipsy pitches.

Almost 800 residents have written to Cheshire East Council opposing the application because of its impact on the Green Belt, expressing concern that work had taken place on the land before receiving planning permission, and fears over increased traffic.

In response to unauthorised works on the site Cheshire East Council obtained a court injunction three days after registering the application to prevent further development, and The High Court is due to rule on the injunction next month.

Today, Wednesday, September 16, is the deadline for submitting comments on the application, and Cheshire East has a target date of October 5 for taking a decision on the plans.

Mr Maloney has also submitted an application to Cheshire East for a stable block and replacement agricultural storage barn with associated landscaping on the same site.

The deadline for comments on this application, 20/3409M, is October 14, with November 3 the target date for a decision on the plans.

A report with the application by Marrons Planning said the site had a lawful use as paddock land for the keeping and rearing of equestrian livestock.

It said: “The planning history for the site clearly demonstrates the use of the site as paddock land for the keeping of equestrian livestock has historically been viewed as acceptable by the council.

Knutsford Guardian:

An illustration of the storage barn

“It is also clear that an on-site storage barn associated with this has been viewed as an acceptable form of development within the Green Belt previously.”

The report said the proposed development was for a stable block and secure storage barn for water, fodder and associated equestrian equipment.

It added: “The siting of the proposed stable block and storage barn in the north-western most corner of the application site ensures the proposed development will be well screened from the surrounding countryside through established hedgerows.

Knutsford Guardian:

An illustration of the latest plans for the site

“By concentrating development in this corner of the site the wider visual impacts of the proposed development are also limited by virtue of the proposed development’s proximity to the Mid Cheshire railway line, connecting Manchester to Cheshire.

“The existing soft landscaping will assist with assimilating the proposed development into the surrounding, predominantly rural environment.

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“The proposals will be reinforcing the existing use of the land and will provide the applicant with an appropriately located, safe and well-designed dedicated stabling block and agricultural shed for the care of their livestock.

“The existing building already on site is not suitable for the applicant’s requirements and has fallen into a state of disrepair.”

Knutsford Guardian:

An illustration of plans for the caravan pitches