CHESHIRE East planners are recommending approval for a retirement apartment block in Wilmslow three months after the council refused an almost identical scheme on the same site.

They are also recommending the council does not defend the applicant’s appeal against the recent refusal.

Churchill Retirement Living wants to bulldoze two properties on Holly Road South and replace them with 34 retirement living apartments for the over 60s.

The previous application was refused by the northern planning committee in February, on the recommendation of planning officers, because it failed to provide on-site affordable housing, health contributions or open space and because insufficient information had been submitted to assess the impact of the proposed development on existing trees on site.

Committee members added a lack of parking provision as a third reason for refusal.

Last month the council’s chief executive used urgency powers to remove two of the reasons for refusal, relating to lack of parking and viability.


Knutsford Guardian: Cheshire East Council's chief executive, Dr Lorraine O'DonnellCheshire East Council's chief executive, Dr Lorraine O'Donnell (Image: Cheshire East Council)

Cheshire East told the Local Democracy Reporting Service at the time: “The decision to use urgency powers was taken to act swiftly to avoid unnecessary legal costs against the council resulting from a planning appeal.”

That appeal is scheduled for later this month.

In the meantime, on Wednesday (June 7), the northern planning committee will consider the latest application for the same site, described on the planning agenda as a 'resubmission of a previously refused development'.

The officer’s report states: “This application is a revised submission and seeks full planning permission for the demolition of the two dwellings on the site and erection of 34 retirement apartments with associated communal facilities, including residents lounge, coffee bar, internal bin store, utility and store, buggy store, garden area and a guest bedroom, car parking and landscaping.

“The application seeks to address the three reasons for refusal with updated affordable housing statement and viability position, additional information regarding long term protection of trees and further commentary of parking requirements for this form of development.”

Knutsford Guardian: The site is off Holly Road SouthThe site is off Holly Road South (Image: Google)

Wilmslow Town Council has objected to the scheme on the grounds of inadequate parking provision, arguing the new application has no material differences to the previous application.

Wilmslow Civic Society has called for the proposal to be refused, saying a three-storey building is inappropriate in this location and is over-development.

Twenty four residents have objected, listing more than 70 reasons why they feel it should be refused.

In recommending this latest application be approved, the council’s planning officer report states: “The proposals represent an acceptable form and design that would sit appropriately within the surrounding urban environment.

“The arboricultural impact assessment, tree protection and method statement conclude the proposals will have an acceptable impact with regards to the long-term health and wellbeing of the retained tree cover.”

The report also states information has been submitted to demonstrate the development is acceptable in terms of its impact on the highway network and parking provision.

It continues: “The financial viability of the scheme has concluded that contributions towards affordable housing, and NHS will be secured as part of a section 106 . It has been appropriately demonstrated that there is no further viability within the scheme to provide for open space and sports provision.

“Overall, the proposal is for sustainable development which would bring environmental, economic and social benefits.”

A separate item on Wednesday’s agenda urges the committee to agree to the council not defending the second reason for refusing the previous application at appeal - meaning the council would not fight the four-day appeal, scheduled for June 27.

The northern planning committee meeting takes place at Macclesfield Town Hall on Wednesday, June 7 at 10am.