HOUSING developers have won a major appeal into the future of Saighton Camp.
An inspector has granted outline planning permission for 375 homes, 5,000 sq m of employment development, 500 sq m of other commercial development including shops and restaurants, a primary school and open space.
The decision follows a six day inquiry at the end of last month at which the inspector, Andrew Pykett, accepts that much of the evidence referred to the effect of the proposed development, put forward by GMV Eight Ltd, on surrounding roads.
But he believes that new build on the former 40 ha army camp, dating back to the 1930s, will not have an unacceptable effect on roads on that side of Chester and there is no need for the long sought after direct link to the A55.
Mr Pykett points out a new “hamburger” gyratory with traffic lights would be built near Sainsbury's, costing £3.5m, and suggests that additional traffic at the Vicars Cross junction of the A41 and A51 could be dealt with by using smart traffic signals.
Referring to the link to the A55, he believes there is a "reluctance" by the Highways Agency to support a direct connection to the development and cites estimated costs "perhaps beyond £100m" if the A55 was also to be widened to three lanes in each direction.
He suggests the under supply of housing land in Chester district added weight to the developer's case and agrees that the issue of the Sandy Lane highway drains is not a matter for the developers.
Allowing the appeal, he concluded the development would be acceptable on highway grounds and the A55 link should not be considered as a realistic prospect.
Mr Pykett granted permission subject to 40 conditions.