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Town council opposes unwanted house plan

Resident fighting to save a much-loved grassed area on their cul-de-sac from development have won the support of Congleton Town Council.

People living at Penrith Court, West Heath, as well as others in the surrounding area, attended a meeting of the Planning Committee at the town hall on Thursday evening where councillors voted to recommended refusal of the application for a three-bedroom detached home.

As reported previously by the Chronicle Leeds-based company RR Build and Design submitted a planning application to Cheshire East Council after the 181sqm patch of land, including a rowan tree which generations of families have seen grow, was eventually sold at auction earlier this year.

The open green space is one of a number on the West Heath estate which for years have been owned by Bilton Land, the company that succeeded the original developer back in the early 1970s, Percy Bilton Homes.

There are concerns that if Cheshire East Council approved the Penrith Court application a precedent could be set, which would lead to fears that other areas of land, some used by children to play on, could be also built over.

Thursday’s meeting followed a gathering of residents and councillors on the grassed area that could be lost earlier this month where families recounted watching their children play on the open space years ago and wanted their grandchildren to be able to use it in future.

There are also concerns about the limited space available for cars to park, and neighbouring homes being overlooked. The application mentions that the master bedroom would have a balcony.

The town council’s Planning Committee opposed the application for various reasons, one being that Cheshire East had previously refused applications relating to similar plots of land on Peckforton Close and Dee Close in Sandbach due to loss of green space.

Other reasons were layout and density, vehicle access and loss of turning circle, inadequate car parking provision for the property, impact on the landscape and nature conservation due to loss of space, neighbouring property overlooked, loss of rowan tree and loss of public amenity space, which has been in place since the original development.

It was also decided that as a result of the level of concern linked with the Penrith Court application the protection of public amenity space should be included within the Congleton Neighbourhood Plan consultation document.

Cheshire East Council’s decision target date is Friday, 12th May.

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