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Cheshire hopes a hedge will stop Gladman

6th October 2013 @ 6:06am – by Webteam
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Cheshire East Council is hoping the loss of a hedgerow, trees and fields will be enough to stop Gladman building up to 120 homes in open countryside in Audlem.

Apart from the controversial issue of the council's housing land supply in its Local Plan the main thrust of the council's argument in contesting the forthcoming appeal will be the loss of a hedgerow.

The arguments are spelt out in a report to the council's Strategic Planning Board which meets on Wednesday to discuss how to proceed with the Gladman appeal

Of course, Cheshire East hopes to convince the Planning Inspector that it's housing supply strategy is up-to-date and that Gladman plans can be thrown out on the grounds of unsustainable development in the open countryside.

But if the council fails to get its Local Plan signed off before the appeal hearing the Planning Inspector may have to rely on national policies which have a presumption in favour of housing in the open countryside.

The report recommends that the grounds for an appeal, apart from the emerging Local Plan, should rely on the future of an ancient hedgerow and the loss of agricultural land.

The report says: "It is important that these hedges, which may be upwards of 300 years old are maintained and protected and concern is raised that... should a permission be granted then these are likely to be lost at the detailed stage of the development."

Planners claim the hedges and trees help to form a 'Green Gap' between Audlem and Hankelow and that this gap will be reduced and its identity "considerably diminished" if the site is approved for housing.

Many points raised by Audlem Parish Council have not found their way into the report.

The 15-page document outlining the Parish Council's opposition pointed to the impact on local heritage and environment; the breach of government policy on agricultural land and failure to meet housing design standards.

Objections also included concern at the impact on the village sewerage system, the sustainability of the development and the loss of important hedgerows,.

Parish councillors intend to address Cheshire East's Strategic Planning Board meeting on Wednesday when they are likely to reinforce their objections to the scheme.

Although Cheshire East can no longer decide the Gladman application, the meeting will help finalise the grounds for contesting the forthcoming appeal.


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