Plans for new 449-home estate & primary school in town delayed


Plans for a new 449-home housing estate and a primary school have been deferred by councillors because ‘there wasn’t enough detail’.

Cheshire East Council has already granted planning permission for the development on the site off David Whitby Way in Crewe.

But at a strategic planning board meeting on Wednesday, councillors discussed the appearance, landscaping, layout, access and scale of the scheme while also raising safety concerns about the access to the proposed school.

And, despite planning officers recommending it be approved, CheshireLive reported councillors decided to defer the application by 11 votes to one, with one member saying ‘the people of Crewe deserve better’.

During a two and a half hour discussion, Alsager councillor Phil Williams (Lib Dem) was the first to suggest the scheme – which forms phase one of the Basford East development, should be deferred.

Cllr Williams told the meeting: “We’re talking about a major extension of Crewe here, we’re talking about a whole development area and the only way we can deal with that is in bitesize chunks, I do understand that.”

He said he liked the affordable housing aspect – the developer has increased the number of affordable homes from 15% to 27% – and he said he liked aspects of the landscaping.

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“I also take on board that this is an urban development, but nevertheless an urban development can be interesting and I think we could look at doing things a bit differently,” said Cllr Williams. “From what we’ve seen so far I don’t think we’ve seen anything interesting or different in terms of design.”

Odd Rode Cllr Patrick Redstone (Con) said: “I think the people of Crewe deserve better. This potentially should be a landmark development and it just seems to me not enough thought has gone into these designs.

“I agree that not enough detail has been given and I think we would be better off deferring this application and get the detail and get it right before going forward, so everybody who lives in this estate in the future can hopefully benefit from our decision.”

Several councillors raised concerns about the access to the school.

Haslington Cllr Steve Edgar (Con) said: “I’m very concerned about the fait-accompli that will be occurring once that access road is built. How will the school entrance be negotiated once that road is built? I‘m certainly uncomfortable with a drop-off zone across the road and then putting crossings in – they will be sweeping off that road off that roundabout.

“It is a fast road and there is no speed limit on it and I do think it is fundamental to what we need to pass, as to how that function will work with the school.”

Knutsford Cllr Stewart Gardiner (Con) had raised several concerns throughout the debate about the lack of detail with regard to the housing.

He proposed the application be deferred and told the planning board: “We can’t be seen be approving something where we don’t have all the details.”

He said he recognised there would be a separate application for the school but added: “It would be important to know the size of school we are considering.”

Chairman Mike Hunter (Lab) said: “I’m in a mind to support deferral.

“I would like to see more details on the numbers of people using the school, I’d like to see a different access scheme coming off David Whitby Way which would, if we need to, accommodate a drop off zone to the east of the access road rather than to the west.”

Crewe councillor Steve Hogben (Lab) agreed about the lack of detail presented to the meeting.

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“It seems to me the original outline application approved for this site, and the separate site on the other side of David Whitby Way, between them produce 800 or 900 houses in the end, so there will be a calculation about the number of primary places that will produce and that must be on record somewhere, and that number will be in three figures,” said Cllr Hogben.

“That is another piece of information we need.”

He added: “We’re talking here of a scheme, even if we approve it today, it’s going to be about eight years before it’s completed. Then you add on the other developments, you’re talking 10 to 15 years.”

The application was deferred so more detail could be provided regarding the housing design, the size of the school and the access, particularly looking at the drop off zone.





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