A community feels ‘let down’ by Cheshire West and Chester Council after planning permission was given to developers wanting to build 90 new homes in their village.
Residents in Kelsall have long campaigned to prevent Taylor Wimpey from building the new homes on Flat Lane and were thrilled when the original application was unanimously rejected earlier this year.
But their joy was short-lived when Taylor Wimpey sought to appeal against the decision, and last week were granted permission to build the houses, leaving villagers who had hoped to implement a Neighbourhood Plan for Kelsall feeling ‘deflated’.
Kelsall Residents Action Group chairman Chris Spray said general feeling in the village, after learning the news, is one of despair.
“People who care about our community have given hundreds of hours of their own time to make this plan,” he said.
“We discovered we’re an older than average community with more expensive houses that young families cannot afford and we desperately need two- to three-bedroom ‘second stepper’ and retirement homes.
“We wanted to develop the village along Chester Road, close to village amenities and in an area that won’t block out the beautiful views and low rise ‘mixed up’ nature of our village.
“But despite years of dithering, CWaC still haven’t got their plan together and we’ve all been completely powerless to stop speculative developers ruining the green heart of our beautiful village.
“So now we have these new houses planned for our village, in areas expressly against the wishes of our community that we know will cause traffic chaos at school and mean that school expansion will not happen on Flat Lane,” he added.
Developers Rowland Homes have also appealed against councillors’ unanimous rejection of plans to build 11 homes on Willington Lane, and this is currently ongoing, with a result expected before the end of the year.
Mr Spray emphasised the village are not against development, but said he wishes developers would consider good design and the sustainability of the villages in their plans.
“We can’t really blame the landowner or the developer – they’re driven by profit and have no considerations for us,” he explained. “But the Government and CWaC have sleepwalked into ruining our village and have not done their job of protecting us.
“Localism is now dead in our village and those who invested so much time into the plan feel defeated, deflated, depressed and thoroughly let down.
“CWaC should be ashamed that they have not done their job or resourced the planning department effectively to deliver what we pay them to do,” he added.