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Residents’ shock as minister backs proposals
3:09pm Thursday 28th November 2013 in News
DEVELOPERS have won a battle with Hartford residents to build 650 new homes in the village after the Secretary of State overturned the local authority’s decision to reject planning permission.
Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Strategic Planning Committee originally refused the developments due to congestion in the village at peak times caused by the 10 educational establishments within Hartford’s boundary.
However, Eric Pickles MP has permitted the construction of 300 dwellings at Grange Farm and 350 at the Hollies due to the council’s lack of a five-year housing supply.
“The residents of Hartford are still reeling from the news allowing both of these large developments to go ahead,” said Rita Hollens, from Hartford Parish Council.
“The decision was made before Hartford’s Neighbourhood Plan Working Group was able to introduce a plan under the Government’s Localism Bill, which enables communities to have a say in how their village will develop for future generations.
“Work on the plan will continue as they have researched and consulted with residents and gathered an enormous amount of data as to the needs of the community for the future.
“They would welcome discussions with Harrow Estates on behalf of the community in the implementation of the conditions.”
Harrow Estates’ appeal allows up to 42 detached four and five bedroom properties with car parking and up to 258 three, four and five bedroom homes at Grange Farm, with a second appeal allowing a further 350 at the Hollies.
Weaver Vale MP Graham Evans claimed Labour’s moratorium on housing development and the impact of the economic downturn has left Cheshire’s housing deficit needing to be addressed.
“I am deeply disappointed with this decision which goes against the wishes and needs of Hartford residents,” he said.
“I have campaigned against these plans alongside concerned residents and have raised the issue locally as well as with Ministers and the Secretary of State on a national level.
“I should very much like to thank the exceptional work of the Parish Council, the Neighbourhood Plan and Hartford Joint Action Group who have worked extremely hard around this issue. It has been a privilege working with these community-minded residents, and I will continue to work with them to ensure the developments do not detract from this beautiful village.” Following a ‘scam’ press release on the day of the decision, Harrow Estates has confirmed quotes from managing director Jennie Daly were a ‘hoax’.
A spokesperson said: “The company has made no comment on the appeal decisions to date and has no immediate plans to do so.
“Harrow Estates is taking this matter very seriously and is currently investigating the source of the press release with a view to taking appropriate action.”
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