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Cheshire West and Chester Council backing is almost unanimous for major housing scheme
EXPERTS advising builders on plans to make Wincham twice as big believes the expansion will add value to the village.
Andrew Clarke, an urban designer for planning specialists Taylor Young Ltd, told councillors on Thursday that the proposal was one others would want to copy.
Cheshire West and Chester Council’s strategic planning committee agreed last Thursday, voting with only one exception in favour of a proposal for more than 1,000 new homes.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for development in this part of the world,” said Mr Clarke.
“We think this plan will help to create a place with qualities that persuade people to move there.
“This is an exemplary scheme that, while being sensitive to the existing village, will leave a lasting legacy in terms of a desirable place to live.”
The councillors’ verdict, delivered after a debate watched by dozens of villagers, was greeted with an audible dismay from the back of the room.
Only minutes earlier those same residents had applauded after Wincham Parish Council chairman, Clr Kenton Barker, had asked for their views not to be ignored.
He said: “This development will swamp, not to mention split, the village.
“Once finished, Wincham would end up the same size as nearby Barnton but without the same infrastructure. There are other areas of the borough where it could be done.”
He urged councillors to take into account the village’s parish plan, a document detailing residents’ vision of how Wincham might look in the future.
“It has been painstakingly put together,” Mr Barker told them.
“Are you going to go against the views of the vast majority of people living there?”
Save for Clr John Grimshaw, who voted to reject the application, they did exactly that.
Developers behind the proposal need now to redraw the master plan after councillors also approved an application by Thor Specialities (UK) Ltd to increase production at its Wincham site.
It is possible, although not yet confirmed, that around 100 fewer homes could be built as a result.
Wincham will not feel like home any more for one resident if a plan becomes reality to more than double the size of the village.
Brenda Yates has lived there for close to four decades.
She said: “The proposal is not merely an extension of an existing settlement – it will overwhelm the village.
“The scale of the plan is inappropriate for the area; Wincham can certainly benefit from change, but there is clearly no attempt on behalf of the developers to blend aesthetically what they wish to do with what is there already.”
Her last line was greeted by an ovation from neighbours sat at the back of the council chamber listening to the debate.