CAMPAIGNERS have launched a fresh bid to save an aristocratic village mansion which could soon be converted into luxury apartments.
Last summer the Chronicle told how residents in Tarporley launched a campaign to save the Arderne Estate House from redevelopment.
In its heyday the 1920s Arderne Estate and Arderne Hall shared the same prestige as the Cholmondeley Estate.
The property, formerly known as Cobblers Cross House, was built for Lady Grisell in 1925, the daughter of George, 11th Earl of Haddington, and the Hon Henrietta Arderne, owners of the Arderne Estate.
Though Arderne Hall was demolished in the 1950s for structural reasons, the estate house has passed through many hands during the years, its last resident being county councillor Andrew Needham, who has since moved and sold the house to a relative.
The house is regarded as an important holding due to its large grounds, which include a series of dog graves.
Residents stepped in last year after learning of plans to demolish the house and convert it into 10 terraced homes and a selection of apartments.
However, that application, from Greater Manchester-based developer Roland Bardsley Homes, was later withdrawn due to pressure from residents, parish councillors and Eddisbury MP Stephen O'Brien.
Now a new application has been lodged by Roland Bardsley, which wants to develop 10 three-storey flats, which may each have a price tag of £400,000.
Villagers are again angry that the plans could mean the demolition of the secluded estate house, which they would like to see restored as an existing building and sold to one family for £1m.
Though the latest application does not include developing the frontage of the property, villagers feel such a redevelopment will do nothing to attract first-time buyers to Tarporley.
Members of Tarporley Parish Council are also opposed to the plans, saying they do nothing to aid their desire for affordable homes in the village.
The campaign against the latest development is being led by villager John Warrington, of Foxhill Court, Tarporley.
He says the demolition of the estate house would lead to a loss of wildlife, cause undue traffic problems and create extra parking problems in Tarporley.
'We know that the estate house is not a historic property, but it once formed part of the Arderne Estate which, in its heyday, had the same prestige as the Cholmondeley Estate,' said Mr Warrington.
'The developer withdrew its application last year after becoming aware of the opposition to their plans. They have now launched a fresh application for 10 apartments and five mews houses.
'The developers want to demolish the estate house and we do not know how high these new houses could be.
'A change has been made to this new application which will not see the front of the estate house being redeveloped. There will be no palladium-style house at the front and the land will be left as open countryside.'
Mr Warrington added: 'We would like to see the estate house restored to its former glory and sold as a single entity to one family, rather than being demolished and split up.
'The property should be sold as a family home. The developers have been greedy with their plans. If they go ahead, 40 or 50 people could be living here.
'What is best for the neighbouring properties, community and the wildlife is for the house to be renovated and the beautiful gardens tended once more.
'This house is part of the village's history and a noted house of historical value.
'Surely, we should be preserving our conservation areas, not demolishing them?'
Tarporley Parish Council is opposed to the conversion due to the potential size of the development, possible parking problems and loss of mature trees. The application is expected to be decided upon by Vale Royal's planning committee on Tuesday, April 20.