A CONTROVERSIAL scheme that would increase a new Hartford development from 279 homes to 537 could get the green light next week.

Officers at Cheshire West and Chester Council are recommending that Redrow Homes should get planning permission to build 258 additional houses at its Hollies site, in School Lane, when the plans come before councillors next Tuesday.

But residents and councillors insist the village’s roads struggle with traffic as it is – while CWAC’s own Northwich Transport Strategy highlights the Hartford corridor as a congestion hotspot.

In a report issued ahead of the meeting, officers said: “It is considered that the proposals represent a sustainable form of development in a sustainable location.

“The development is considered to not result in a severe impact on the highway and would not result in unacceptable impacts with regards to neighbour amenity, landscape, biodiversity and heritage assets.”

Redrow was given outline planning permission to build up to 350 homes on the site in 2013 following an appeal – meaning the firm had the green light for the principal of the development, but further approval was needed for the design of the homes.

The housebuilder has since built 279 homes on the site, but it needed to bring forward plans for the remaining 71 homes by November 2016.

Instead, the firm has submitted a fresh planning application to build 258 additional homes on a larger area of land than was originally approved five years ago – claiming this development would be more sustainable.

Redrow had intended to add 276 homes to the site, but has since reduced that figure to 258.

But CWAC has received 139 objections to the proposals, and Hartford Parish Council wants the scheme to be refused due to its potential impact on traffic congestion and the loss of additional open space in the new proposal.

Cllr Patricia Parkes, Conservative CWAC member for Hartford and Greenbank, will speak against the proposal at next week’s meeting.

“There has just not been enough done to alleviate traffic problems in Hartford,” she said.

“We have had the Northwich Transport Strategy but that is not being taken into account in the officers’ report.

“When the original plan was approved CWAC did not have a local plan, and Hartford had no neighbourhood plan. We have those now and they need to be considered.”

Redrow also has permission to build up to 300 homes at its nearby Hartford Grange development, at the former Grange Farm site, with many of those homes already built.

If the plans are approved, the developer will pay £285,481.37 towards education provision and £22,769 for a playing pitch, while road improvement works at the School Lane junction of the A556 are also proposed.

Redrow will have three years to begin the development if the scheme gets the go-ahead.