10:16am Monday 12th August 2013
By Emma Rigby
PLANS to build up to 17 dwellings in Hartford have been approved after councillors deemed the scheme’s provision of open space to be beneficial.
An outline planning application for the houses and access on land between Mornant Avenue and Heyeswood Lane and land at St Vincents Drive went before Cheshire West and Chester Council’s (CWAC) planning committee last Tuesday.
Concerns had been raised over the scheme’s use of green belt land and the added infrastructure problems the proposal could have on Hartford, as well as the surplus of public open space already present.
Speaking on behalf of the residents, Rob Brown said: “Targets in the current local plan have already been reached so there is no requirement to use scarce green space for more housing.
“As MP Graham Evans said, homes are far better built on brown field areas where they won’t totally saturate our existing community but enhance it.
“Parcel two is being offered to provide 892 square metres of public open space. There is already public open space in the same size adjacent to parcel one which is extremely underutilised, as is a second 1,500 square metre area on the Mornant Avenue estate.
“Changing green belt to more public space is not needed.”
Mr Brown also raised the issue of S52 agreements and covenants currently in place on the two parcels of land but principal planning officer Nial Casselden said they were not material planning considerations and required no further thought.
Committee member clr Norman Wright said: “Going back in time to the Vale Royal Borough Council days that land was allocated to be a public open space and that’s how it should remain.”
Fiona Edwards, CWAC’s chief planning officer, told the committee: “The land at the moment is privately owned, it’s secured against the public and the public can’t make any use of it.
“The proposal here is to have an area of land that is publicly accessible and will remain so.”
Clr Alex Black added: “At present Hartford has got this public open space on the corner which is open space but is not public and this development seeks to provide an open space at the end of these houses there which would actually be open to the public.
“It does provide affordable housing and I think it’s an ideal location on the corner.”
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