CHESHIRE East has deferred an application for two houses for a second time amid fears of flood risk, with one councillor saying the planning committee had a responsibility to its residents.

Nicholas Reynolds applied for permission to build the two houses on land to the rear of 203 and 205 Middlewich Street in Crewe.

The application was deferred by the southern planning committee in January to allow for consultation with the lead local flood authority.

The council’s planners had recommended the application be approved today (Wednesday), having received the requested flood risk assessment.

But councillors were still not satisfied, after hearing nearby gardens were under six inches of water currently, so there is already a drainage issue.

Concerns were also raised over the access which, the committee was told, is a narrow, private driveway.

Planning officer Gareth Taylerson said this would be a civil matter and not within the remit of the council.

Northwich Guardian: Cllr Mike MuldoonCllr Mike Muldoon (Image: Cheshire East Council)

Sandbach councillor Mike Muldoon (Con) said: “Is it not the duty of the council to foresee a problem?

“I’m very, very concerned over that access and how to get in.”

He said he had struggled turning round in a car because two other cars were parked there.

“If we pass this, I just feel as though we’re going to pass problems, not only on drainage, to the group of people around the area, but also on the access.

“I don’t think it’s fair to subject them to civil cases at a future date.. there’s a good chance that may happen.”

Cllr Andrew Kolker (Dane Valley, Con) said there is an existing drainage problem and ‘I don’t see how this is going to make it anything other than worse’.

He acknowledged permission would only be granted once an acceptable solution had been found after drainage plans had been submitted.

He added that, despite concerns raised over the access, the highways engineer had said it complied with policy.

“I’m struggling to find any reason other than to approve it and for that reason I’m going to propose approval,” said Cllr Kolker.

This was seconded by Shavington councillor Linda Buchanan (Lab).

Northwich Guardian: Cllr Allen GageCllr Allen Gage (Image: Cheshire East Council)

But Willaston councillor Allen Gage (Con) referred to the updated comment from the flood risk officer and asked: “Can I just be 100 per cent sure that that comment has come on the basis of a physical site visit or has that been produced off a spreadsheet?”

Mr Taylerson said he didn’t know.

Cllr Gage replied: “Basically what I’ve heard in the meeting today, from people who have personal experience and knowledge of this area, they say there is a standing water issue and a flooding issue which I find a little bit incongruent with the Cheshire East flood risk comments.

“I can’t support this today because I’m worried that no actual site visit has occurred.”

The vote to approve the application was lost with just three councillors voting in favour, five against and two abstaining.

Cllr Buchanan then moved deferral for an in-depth flood risk report to be provided, which would include a site visit by the flood risk officer.

This was seconded by Cllr Steve Edgar (Haslington, Con).

The vote to defer was carried with seven voting in favour of deferral and three abstaining.