A MAJOR plan to build 265 homes and a 72-bed care home with a nature conservation area and children’s play spaces in Hooton has been backed by councillors.
Members of Cheshire West and Chester Council’s strategic planning committee unanimously voted for the outline plan for the Roften Works, which includes 68 affordable homes, on Thursday.
They also supported unanimously a separate planning application for the demolition of Hooton Village Memorial Hall and the building of a new community hall on its current site, as part of the overall scheme.
The scheme, by owner Burford Delta Limited, will be sent to the Secretary of State to consider whether it should be called in for a public inquiry because the project is a departure from the Ellesmere Port and Neston Local Plan.
Councillors heard, if given approval, the developer would fund improvements to the junction of the A41 and Hooton Road and improvements would be made to the shop at Hooton Station, to increase the range of goods sold.
Chairman and Willaston and Thornton councillor Myles Hogg said: “This application has merits and demerits.
“In an ideal world this site would have been decontaminated, cleaned up and turned into a light industrial park, employing hundreds of people.
“That dream was not to be so we must decide whether this application is acceptable.”
An officer told councillors a financial contribution from the developer could result in the expansion of Childer Thornton Primary School, to enable the school to accommodate additional primary-age pupils moving into the development.
Backing the scheme, Cllr Angela Claydon said: “When we were doing the Local Plan for Ellesmere Port during the time of Ellesmere Port and Neston Council we had some robust debates because at the time I thought having housing was a better option than the development park.
“They tried hard to market it – it was called Artillery Park – and nothing happened.
“As you have seen during our site visit it is an absolute tip and has been for donkey’s years and it is an eyesore.
“It does not look like green belt at all. It looks like an absolute mess. I support this.”