A rural community is celebrating after the Secretary of State took their side against housing developers seeking to build 300 homes in their village.
Campaigners in Tattenhall are relieved after Sajid Javid overturned recommendations that would have given the go-ahead to what residents felt were inappropriate, large-scale housing estates on greenfield sites.
Taylor Wimpey was seeking consent for up to 110 homes off Chester Road; Barratt wanted 68 homes also off Chester Road and Ashley Wall had applied for up to 137 houses on land to rear of 15-18 Greenlands.
Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) took the community’s side in rejecting all three schemes back in September 2012 because of the adverse impacts on the landscape, character and appearance of the village and surrounding rural area.
But planning inspector Christina Downes ruled the schemes should be allowed because the authority could not demonstrate it had five years’ housing supply as required by law.
Now the Secretary of State has concluded circumstances have changed since the recommendations were first made. He says there is sufficient housing supply and relevant policies should apply including the Neighbourhood Plan which reflects the feelings of villagers.
Cllr Graham Spencer, a former chairman of Tattenhall Parish Council and a member of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, said: “I think it’s great news for the community but also great for other communities, not only in the county of Cheshire but throughout the country, because it means plans the community support do carry significant weight.”
He said the community would be ‘relieved the Secretary of State has taken the decision he has’.
Cllr Spencer said the parish council was not anti-development and had supported various schemes including the expansion of The Ice Cream Farm, a care village, a Bolesworth Estate application for 30 houses and Robin Blackham’s mixed scheme at Newton-by-Tattenhall.
But the contentious housing applications were ‘large-scale, suburban housing estates’ that were ‘inappropriate’ in a rural setting.
He added:”We want a balanced type of development over time that will keep the things we like and improve the things we don’t like. We felt the developers were not offering that.”
Fellow parish councillor Carol Weaver, who is chair of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, said: “It’s a fantastic bit of news and something we have kept our fingers crossed for all this time.
"The community has been marvellously patient waiting for this outcome and their support of the parish council and the Neighbourhood Plan group has been unwavering. They have been fantastic because it’s been frustrating for all of us having to wait so long.”
Alison Knight, director of places strategy at CWaC, said: “We can confirm we have received the Secretary of State’s decisions concerning the three schemes.”