Gladman Developments will not have to assess the impact on the environment of its plans to build up to 120 homes at Little Heath.
Secretary of State, Eric Pickles, has ruled that the project will not need an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
The move will disappoint objectors concerned at the impact of building 120 new homes in open countryside on the edge of Audlem.
Details of the decision are outlined in a letter to Cheshire East Council planners who are contesting a planning appeal by Gladman against non-determination of the scheme by the council.
The letter says: "In the opinion of the Secretary of State ... the development would not be likely to have significant effect on the environment by virtue of factors such as its nature, size or location. "
"Accordingly ... the Secretary of State hereby directs that this development is not EIA development."
An EIA seeks to ensure that any planning decisions affecting the environment are taken with the knowledge of any potentially significant effects they may have.
In assessing the impact of the Gladman proposals, the Secretary of State says the site and
surroundings are not located "within or in close proximity to a designated sensitive area" and has no significant impact in terms of complex construction, hazardous substances, pollution, flooding or cultural or heritage interests.
His report admits that there are likely effects in terms of visual impacts, loss of agricultural land and natural features and habitats but Mr Pickles is confident that these can be properly handled by the Planning Inspector.
His ruling adds: "Taking account of the environmental information submitted and given the nature, scale and context of the receiving landscape and existing built development, the development is unlikely to lead to significant environmental effects to warrant the submission of an Environmental Statement."
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