COUNCILLORS have voted in favour of much-opposed plans to build 40 new homes in Farndon.
The development, which was put forward by the trustees of the Barnston Estate on land near Barnston Mews, has led to objections from residents and parish councillors.
As a result the issue was called in to Cheshire West and Chester Council’s planning committee by Farndon councillor Howard Greenwood.
Planners had 70 representations from residents raising a range of issues including the fact a neighbourhood plan was being prepared for the village.
For the steering group of the neighbourhood plan, John Hillyer told the committee it was likely there would be a further 12 months before the plan was ready for implementation.
It was accepted that development would take place in Farndon but the big question ‘is where and what form it should take’.
He objected to the proposed site as it was in the centre of the village.
Mr Hillyer said: “Farndon has a complete lack of space for cars and the high street becomes congested with parking. At peak times there is complete chaos and that is without the 46 houses already granted on Sibbersfield just down the road.”
He added: “The strength of feeling against this application is running high.”
Agent Mr M Gilbert told councillors: “At this stage no weight should be given to the future neighbourhood plan.
“The application should be determined on its merits. The need for housing is not disputed.”
Former county councillor for the area Cllr Eveleigh Moore Dutton believed the application was ‘at risk of destroying the very thing which makes this village special’.
Cllr Kay Loch feared the development would be visible on the skyline and the area would begin to lose its rural character.
But Cllr Brian Crowe felt the prospect of 20 affordable homes in the rural area would be an incentive.
A move to refuse the application was defeated on a 6-5 vote. Councillors then agreed on a 6-4 vote with one abstention that head of planning Chris Hindle should be authorised to approve the application subject to no significant new objections arising before the end of the period for public consultation.