Housebuilders Bellway has secured reserved matters approval for 134 homes off Chelford Road in Henbury, but was refused permission on an additional 23-home plot.
Bellway had secured outline consent for 134 homes at the site in 2018, and had sought to add a further 23 homes bordering Whirley Road to the site’s north east.
The larger application won through, although only narrowly with five votes for and four against, while the second application was defeated 8-3, with concerns cited referring to over-development and peat removal.
The housebuilder’s bid to put the seal on its 157-home project had been deferred in January, to allow further information regarding peat removal to be provided to the local authority.
Peat having emerged as a hot topic in the drive towards zero-carbon, repeated objector Henbury Parish Council had commissioned environmental consultancy Gavia to fight its corner on the basis that development would fly in the face of Cheshire East’s climate change policy.
Since January, the developer has confirmed that a total of 10,000 cubic metres of peat would need to be removed from the site, out of a total of 24,000 cubic metres excavated, following investigations by environmental consultancy E3p.
Although council officers said this claim had some weight, they argued it should not stymie development – both parts of the Bellway plan had been recommended for approval at yesterday’s meeting of Cheshire East’s strategic planning board.
The plans include 40 affordable homes to be delivered across a site that once belonged to brewer Robinson’s, sitting across from the Cock Inn.