An ‘overwhelming’ majority of Tarporley residents voted against 45 new houses being built in their village.
Tarporley Parish Council held a public consultation on Monday night (March 2) to discuss Bloor Homes’ proposals for the new homes at Arderne Home Farm on land at the junction of Eaton Road and Walkers Lane, and more than 40 members of the public turned out to have their say on the matter.
If the plans are given the green light, it would take the total amount of approved new housing in Tarporley to 190 homes, a figure that residents say the village does not need.
During the meeting, Cllr Graham Lees, who sits on Tarporley Parish Council, said whereas developers could once argue that they were just trying to meet housing targets, that concept no longer applied.
“A need has to be proven for any further housing development and there is now no further need,” he said. “The site is outside the settlement boundary according to the Local Plan and the emerging Tarporley Neighbourhood Plan and there is certainly no justification for breaching the settlement boundary.”
Concern was also raised that valuable and attractive green fields and spaces were being lost under the guise of developing a brownfield site and that the Arderne Home Farm development actually consisted mainly of fields currently used for grazing and exercising horses.
And 45 new houses would also generate an excessive burden on an already inadequate sewage system, it was claimed.
Every one of the 47 people in attendance raised their hands to oppose the plans.
Resident David Carter told The Chronicle: “The main concern of the people attending was that Tarporley is not able to withstand the influx of traffic, parking and other demands that the many applications on the books are threatening.
“There are also very specific concerns that this application is for a site located at a notoriously dangerous junction. It will add traffic, but worse, adds two exits very close to the blind bend that many local people already avoid because of the dangerous way people drive through it.
“Several residents felt that Tarporley lacks a strategic plan. No money is being invested in improving the infrastructure in Tarporley, even though the local authority are apparently holding considerable sums from developers intended for the benefit of the village.
“The current plans to add nine new spaces to one car park and 18 to another are nowhere near enough for current, let alone growing needs,” he added.
Reference was also made to the new Tarporley Draft Neighbourhood Plan which has been produced after thousands of hours of work by volunteers, as well as a steering group, and residents were urged to read it and comment on it during the current consultation period which ends later this month.
A spokesperson for Bloor Homes said: “We have ourselves undertaken pre-application consultation on our plans and we fully reviewed all the feedback received from local residents before submitting a planning application to Cheshire West and Chester Council.
“We welcome the parish council’s commitment to community engagement in the formulation of its response to our plans, but we maintain our position that new homes are needed in Tarporley.
“The village has been identified in the council’s recently adopted Local Plan for at least 300 new homes, which is a minimum, not maximum requirement, as is the Government’s intention for housing land supply targets.
“Moreover, this is a figure which has not yet been met by planning consents, and we believe that our site can provide the new homes that are needed in an appropriate and sensitive manner.
“We welcome the input of the parish council in the planning process and we look forward to seeing its formal submission on the plans.”