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Clark blocks major housing schemes in Gloucestershire and Cheshire

Published: Thursday, 12th May 2016

Clark agrees with the inspectors’ recommendations and refuses both of the residential schemes…

Communities Secretary Greg Clark has blocked major residential schemes in Gloucestershire and Cheshire which were the subject of appeals. In both case he agreed with the recommendations of the inspectors who held the inquiries.

The larger of the proposals involved a residential led mixed-use scheme earmarked for land at Leckhampton near Cheltenham originally refused by the borough council.

Developers Bovis Homes and Miller Homes residential-led project involved up to 650 homes, a local centre, a site for a pharmacy, a GP surgery and potentially care home or a dentists’, children’s nursery and /or a cottage hospital, a primary school and allotments.

Clark acknowledged that without the housing contribution from this appeal the borough council would be two years’ short of an identified five-year housing land supply.

However like the inspector Clark concluded that the outline scheme would be contrary to the development plan overall due to severe cumulative transport impacts and because of the loss of locally valued landscape. He also concluded that the development would prejudice the possible designation of Local Green Space.

In respect of the other, smaller, scheme the Secretary of State agreed with the inspector who held the call-in inquiry that Bark Street Investments Ltd’s proposal for outline consent for up to 142 homes on land east of Clifton Drive, Chester should be refused.

The SoS agreed the site was in a sustainable location at the edge of the built-up area some 1.5 kilometres west of the city centre but concluded the scheme should be blocked on the grounds of flood risk and the loss of playing fields. Sport England had objected to the scheme, triggering the call-in. Cheshire West & Chester Council had been prepared to approve the scheme.

View more information on the recovered appeal: land at Kidnappers Lane, Leckhampton, Cheltenham

View more information on the called-in decision: land east of Clifton Drive, Chester

Roger Milne