A landmark Chester site has been cleared to make way for seven homes on the footprint of a former NHS facility for adolescents with mental health problems.
Planning consent was granted last August relating to Pine Lodge in Liverpool Road – so-called because of pine trees at the site, some of which have now been felled.
The NHS facility has relocated to a modern complex at the nearby Countess of Chester Health Park.
Archway Homes Ltd has consent for a scheme that includes the refurbishment and partial demolition of Pine Lodge itself to provide one detached dwelling. The rest of the site has been cleared to make room for six detached two-storey dwellings.
All properties will be sold on the open market although a financial contribution must be made to Cheshire West and Chester Council in lieu of on-site provision for 0.2 of an affordable dwelling.
One neighbouring resident contacted The Chronicle saddened at the loss of so many mature trees from the site including pines trees that fronted Liverpool Road.
An objector from Gawer Park, worried at the loss of privacy, was also concerned about the loss of mature trees, including those subject to tree preservation orders (TPOs), that would be detrimental to the local environment.
Some trees proposed to be felled provided screening between their house and the application site.
Planning officer Bethany Brown, who granted planning permission under delegated powers, wrote in her report: “The application submission included an arboricultural impact assessment which has been reviewed by the tree officer.
"The consultation response refers to the fact that the site is quite heavily treed and that the pine trees at the Liverpool Road frontage in particular have some appeal in visual amenity terms – and are subject to TPOs in some instances.
“That the development will necessitate the removal of a certain number of trees, including some of these pines, is acknowledged and accepted in principle. However, this is on the basis of a condition being imposed to request replacement tree planting as part of the development, including towards Liverpool Road.
“That the tree officer has concluded satisfactorily is significant when having regard to the concerns of the objector.”
She concluded: “There have been other residential applications at the site in recent years, in recognition that this is an appropriate and sustainable location for new dwellings. However, notwithstanding this support in principle, the previous applications have not concluded favourably as a consequence of them involving the loss of Pine Lodge.
“On the contrary, this application allows for its retention and conversion to a dwelling, and indeed its improvement when accounting for the removal of insensitive later extensions and alterations. Six new build dwellings are proposed adjacent to it.”