PLANS to demolish three homes in Hartford and replace them with a 69-bedroom care home have been thrown out.

Members of Cheshire West and Chester Council’s planning committee rejected the proposals for land at 433 to 437 Chester Road yesterday evening after it was called in by Hartford and Greenbank ward councillor Patricia Parkes.

She was among those who spoke passionately against the development during the hearing, as did Witton councillor and Hartford resident Sam Naylor, Hartford Parish councillor Jane Taylor and representatives of residents.

Committee members dismissed the proposal despite it being recommended for approval in a report prepared beforehand by planning case officer Brian Leonard.

Both Geoffrey Mullet and Cliff Hall spoke on behalf of residents from more than 70 households which submitted objections, highlighting that the development would not be in-keeping with Hartford village and the Chester Road street scene, that the site would be overdevelopment and the severe impact it would have on traffic.

Cllr Taylor added that the application contravenes three policy areas in the Hartford Neighbourhood Plan and it would cause ‘significant and lasting harm’ to what is a ‘gateway’ to Hartford.

Northwich Guardian:

Paul Carr, speaking on behalf of applicant New Care, said that staff will be recruited locally and would not drive to work, leaving sufficient parking for visitors.

But this was disputed by Cllr Parkes, who commented that limited bus services would require staff to use cars and a park them on a car park which is too small and cannot be expanded due to overdevelopment on the site.

Cllr Naylor, who has lived in Hartford for 45 years, added: “I care about this village and the people of Hartford who forcibly object to this development.

“A dedicated group has spent an unbelievable amount of time and effort in fighting this, and if there is one village on this planet which has been overdeveloped, it is Hartford.

“For the developer to pick the main gateway to our village and take a wrecking ball to magnificent homes and replace them with a big bulky building is nothing short of suburban criminal damage.

“To suggest the building is in-keeping with surroundings is like saying the moon is made of cheese, and to suggest 28 car parking spaces is sufficient is pure fantasy-island thinking.

“Recent rejections of near-identical facilities in Handforth and Tarporley were correct, and if we believe in listening to and representing residents, you should reject this application.”

Northwich Guardian:

This passionate support resonated with committee members during the hearing, with Upton councillor Jill Houlbrook stating: “We’ve got too many passionate local councillors all saying that this is the wrong development in the wrong place at the wrong time and we should be listening to them.

“Cllr Naylor is always passionate in his pleas, and I do wonder whether we don’t listen to local councillors enough.

“He has grown up in the area and knows it, as does Cllr Parkes. They are immersed in Hartford, are the voice of the people and we should be listening to them.”

After progressing to vote, the application was rejected by eight votes against to three votes in favour.

The reasons for rejection were summed up as the development, in terms of its scale, character and appearance, failing to contribute positively to the area, contravening policy in parts one and two of the Cheshire West and Chester Local Plan and in the Hartford Neighbourhood Plan.

Do you have a strong view on this? If so, send your letters to