CHESHIRE East has given the go-ahead for a controversial 40-home scheme at Lyme Green with one councillor saying members didn’t have a choice because of a planning inspector’s previous ruling.

In October 2022 the council’s strategic planning board had turned down an application for a ‘cramped’ 42 home-scheme on land west of London Road and south of Gaw End Lane on the grounds of over-development.

Morris Homes and the trustees of the Lyme Green Settlement appealed and a planning inspector over-turned the council’s refusal.

Since then the same applicants have submitted a scheme for 40 homes on the site, together with on-site public open space.

It was this latest scheme which was approved by councillors at yesterday’s (Wednesday) strategic planning board meeting.

Northwich Guardian: Cllr Mary BrooksCllr Mary Brooks (Image: Cheshire East Council)

Speaking after the meeting, Macclesfield councillor Mary Brooks (Lab) told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS): “We voted in favour because, basically, we didn’t have a choice.

“If we hadn’t approved that they could have gone forward with the previous one that was ruled on by the planning inspectorate because they won the appeal.”

The approved scheme is for four one-bed homes, six two-bed, 17 three-bed and 13 four-bedroom houses.

Thirty per cent are affordable.

Northwich Guardian: Cllr Stewart GardinerCllr Stewart Gardiner (Image: Cheshire East Council)

Cllr Stewart Gardiner (Knutsford, Con), who proposed the scheme be accepted, told the LDRS after the meeting: “I still think that it is over-development of the site but the trouble is an inspector has said, no it’s not over-development of the site.

“The inspector’s voice actually trumps those of a councillor… so we have to accept that and the only thing we can possibly do is recognise there are benefits to the scheme and vote for it.”

He added: “The benefits of the scheme are two-fold.

“Firstly, it has on-site open space and play provision that wasn’t in the scheme approved at appeal.

“Secondly, although there is one less total number of affordable units, a significant proportion of them are three-bed family homes.  Seven out of the 12 are three-bed.”