Residents fear piling decision at Richborough Estates' Moulton site

Residents fear piling decision

Residents fear piling decision

First published in News Northwich Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

RESIDENTS fear that planning inspector’s advice about a new housing development in their village will be ignored.

Richborough Estates won planning permission to build 148 homes on land off Barnside Way after an appeal, but one of the inspector’s conditions was that there should be no piling carried out as part of site excavation or building.

The company has applied to Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC) to vary that condition.

Residents are concerned as they say piling has the potential to cause damage or stress to nearby properties.

Margaret Newton, of Beehive Lane, raised fears about comments made by the environmental protection team in response to the new application.

This states that the team has no objections as long as piling and construction methods are appropriate.

Margaret said: “I thought a national planning inspector’s comments about piling was unequivocal, there shouldn’t be any piling.

“Why as tax payers have we paid for a very expensive public inquiry when an environmental protection practitioner can just disregard the inspector’s comments?

“I don’t know where democracy is in this case.”

Phil Sanders, Moulton Parish Council’s clerk, contacted the planning inspectorate for a response.

He said: “I asked the inspector and got the response back from his team that it’s out of his hands and is now a local authority decision.

“If they approve something that’s contrary to what’s in the report it’s up to them.

“They’re not bound by the inspector’s report.

“If they believe the planning arguments for overriding it and going along with the application to remove the clause they can do – that’s planning law as it stands.”

He added: “My personal view is that I think this is a big issue because without this they can’t build.

“Any builder would look at that and say ‘not without being able to do piling, this is an absolute non-starter because it’s so wet.”

A decision is expected about the new application this month.

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