DERELICT industrial buildings off School Lane will be demolished to make way for four new homes, after plans were given the green light.

The Hartford House Yard workshop site will see all-but-one of its single-storey buildings – largely offices and storage sheds – flattened to be replaced by two pairs of semi-detached homes.

Four three-bedroom homes –three of which include a roof level – will be built, despite residents’ objections that the scale was not in keeping with the Hartford area and would intrude on neighbours’ privacy.

Hartford Parish Council echoed the objections, with residents adding fears of overdevelopment and loss of business space, but Cheshire West and Chester Council planners said there was not sufficient reason to justify refusing planning permission.

Planning officer Steven Holmes said: “The surrounding area is dominated by residential uses, with some commercial uses along School Lane.

Northwich Guardian:

The proposed site layout and, right, proposed elevations

“There are no concerns that the proposed use would be incompatible with the surrounding uses. Rather, the existing use would potentially cause nuisance to the surrounding residential properties should it ever be restarted.

“The heights of the buildings … would appear as two-storey dwellings and the fact they contain roof accommodation will have a very limited impact on their appearance or on the character of the area.”

As well as garages and driveways, four parking spaces for existing cottages – built in 1974 – are included in the development, which would be accessed from the existing driveway next door to the Hart of Hartford café.

Planners also addressed concerns over bin collections, suggesting that they could be left on School Lane for collection – some 30 metres from the front doors.

In their application, developers say the workshop has been out of use for around a year – most recently occupied by Scorpio Signs.

A planning statement said: “The existing workshop buildings are of poor character, appearance and construction and in a bad state of repair, and would not be marketable for use.”

It said traffic levels from housing would be lower than during previous employment use, adding: “The proposed development will be an enhancing replacement of the existing which can be seen beyond the entrance drive.”