PLANS to build three large storage buildings in the open countryside close to the M6 at Holmes Chapel have been recommended for refusal.

The applicants want to construct the buildings, which would be sub-divided into seven units, on land at Cotton Farm, Middlewich Road, close to junction 18.

But the council’s planning officer says there is no evidence this development requires a countryside location.

In a report due to go to Wednesday’s (June 28) meeting of the southern planning committee, the officer states: “The proposal would provide some opportunities for local rural employment.”

But he adds the supporting documents submitted with the planning application ‘do not identify any end users for the proposed units and the design and access statement states that the application would provide seven new units to complement the four existing units found at Cotton Farm’.

He continued: “The proposed development is considered to be speculative and it cannot meet the test of being ‘essential’ as defined by policy."

The planning officer said there is no evidence within the application as to why this development could not be located within the settlement boundary, at a site such as Midpoint 18 in Middlewich.

Knutsford Guardian: The meeting will take place at Crewe Municipal BuildingsThe meeting will take place at Crewe Municipal Buildings (Image: Belinda Ryan, LDRS)

Holmes Chapel Parish Council has objected to the proposal and listed several reasons why it believes it should be refused.

These include highways reasons such as the proposed entrance being so close to the motorway junction and the lack of parking on the site.

Eleven local residents have objected raising numerous concerns including traffic disruption, issues with construction traffic, increased pollution and unsociable operating hours.

The council’s planning officer has recommended the application be refused on three grounds including the proposal constitutes an urban encroachment into the open countryside which would harm the character and appearance of the area and it is a speculative form of development which does not require a countryside location and is not essential development within the open countryside.

The southern planning committee takes place at 10am on Wednesday, June 28, at Crewe Municipal Buildings.