Residents’ shock as minister backs proposals

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.”

Comments (6)

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8:23pm Thu 28 Nov 13

L Byrne says...

Graham Evans attempt to blame this decision on the previous Labour government is pathetic.
Graham Evans attempt to blame this decision on the previous Labour government is pathetic. L Byrne

8:57am Fri 29 Nov 13

Northwich Lover says...

But shows Neighbourhood Plans to be a waste of effort
But shows Neighbourhood Plans to be a waste of effort Northwich Lover

5:59pm Fri 29 Nov 13

Daniel18 says...

Graham Evans has one person to blame - Eric Pickles! It has nothing to do with the previous labour government.

I think he'll be in for a bit of a shock at the next election, as I'm sure that there won't be many local residents voting for him - never mind he can just retire at his home over in Rainow, Cheshire East!
Graham Evans has one person to blame - Eric Pickles! It has nothing to do with the previous labour government. I think he'll be in for a bit of a shock at the next election, as I'm sure that there won't be many local residents voting for him - never mind he can just retire at his home over in Rainow, Cheshire East! Daniel18

7:54pm Fri 29 Nov 13

Mcintosh says...

I suspect the majority residents of Hartford will continue to vote Conservative despite this decision It is instinctive and unthinking for them. And if you are Graham Evans and hear that 600 houses at £600k are going to be built in your constituency you do a calculation and believe there will be another 1000 votes for your party in a few years.
I suspect the majority residents of Hartford will continue to vote Conservative despite this decision It is instinctive and unthinking for them. And if you are Graham Evans and hear that 600 houses at £600k are going to be built in your constituency you do a calculation and believe there will be another 1000 votes for your party in a few years. Mcintosh

4:34pm Wed 4 Dec 13

I.A.M. Concerned says...

I have taken a leaf out of JAG's book and emailed Eric Pickles to express my anger at this ridiculous decision. I disagree with Mcintosh about Hartford residents still voting Conservative because believe me, I for one feel betrayed and lied to.....and the other parties are just the same. You might as well vote for a bunch of monkeys for what good these political parties do - they are all corrupt and I'm afraid it's all about the money. Shame on them!
I have taken a leaf out of JAG's book and emailed Eric Pickles to express my anger at this ridiculous decision. I disagree with Mcintosh about Hartford residents still voting Conservative because believe me, I for one feel betrayed and lied to.....and the other parties are just the same. You might as well vote for a bunch of monkeys for what good these political parties do - they are all corrupt and I'm afraid it's all about the money. Shame on them! I.A.M. Concerned

3:17pm Thu 5 Dec 13

Townsville says...

Graham Evans might claim to have worked hard but his efforts have been totally ineffective hence this decison. At least when Labour were in power John Prescot managed to halt the development of the Grange Farm. I for one will definitely not be voting Conservative. He should also recognise that it is the Tory controlled CWAC that has failed to identify the required 5 year stock of building land so to try to blame Labour for this decision is nonsense. He was urged to vote against the change in law to allow presumption in favour of sustainable development but he assured us it would give us more not less protection. Another hollow promise. His regular newsletter never mentioned his work on this matter but is full of pictures of him cutting ribbons at shop openings etc. I would ask with all the developments now approved or planned in the Northwch areas where are the new schools to be located?Hartford cannot cope with anymore or anymore students at the existing schools. I guess the lack of school places will also be blamed on Labour. It would appear fromn your report that his office are sending out a standard letter to constituents and the press who have complained about this. He has certainly failed completely to address the issues I raised in my letter to him
Graham Evans might claim to have worked hard but his efforts have been totally ineffective hence this decison. At least when Labour were in power John Prescot managed to halt the development of the Grange Farm. I for one will definitely not be voting Conservative. He should also recognise that it is the Tory controlled CWAC that has failed to identify the required 5 year stock of building land so to try to blame Labour for this decision is nonsense. He was urged to vote against the change in law to allow presumption in favour of sustainable development but he assured us it would give us more not less protection. Another hollow promise. His regular newsletter never mentioned his work on this matter but is full of pictures of him cutting ribbons at shop openings etc. I would ask with all the developments now approved or planned in the Northwch areas where are the new schools to be located?Hartford cannot cope with anymore or anymore students at the existing schools. I guess the lack of school places will also be blamed on Labour. It would appear fromn your report that his office are sending out a standard letter to constituents and the press who have complained about this. He has certainly failed completely to address the issues I raised in my letter to him Townsville

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