Unique proposals submitted for 900 new homes at Gorstyhill Country Park

Gorstyhill Country Park (1)Haddon Property Developments Limited has submitted an outline planning application for a mixed-use development.

The development is to provide 900 new homes, an extended Country Park, employment space, a village centre and new accessible green space on a 64 hectare site adjoining Wychwood Village, Gorstyhill, Crewe.

John Church of John Church Planning Consultancy Limited said:
“This is a lower density housing proposal which sensitively respects the local environment, character and setting of the area.
It will provide new family, affordable and elderly housing and will make provision for a new primary school, healthcare provision and neighbourhood facilities such as local shops, a café, pub/restaurant and employment facilities.
Investment would also be made in transport improvements including the local bus services.
The site was previously used as a golf course, but proved unviable due to the competition from the multiple numbers of courses in the area.
This application therefore seeks to deliver new commercial space as part of the development; which along with the school, crèche and healthcare centre will create in the region of 250-300 new jobs.
This is a truly unique proposal as approximately half  of the site will become an extended Country Park comprising new accessible green and open space and will include a mix of  natural and managed green space, retention of the existing wetland features and facilities for children and young people.”

The design of the homes would be informed by properties in conservation areas on the Cheshire and Staffordshire border to ensure an attractive and characterful development.

John added:
“We appreciate that local people may be concerned about preserving the identity of the relatively new settlement at Wychwood Village.
We therefore held a four day local consultation event, inviting the residents from these 300 homes, as well as Wychwood Park and the wider surrounding area to inform the development proposals.
We have now sought where possible to take on board the feedback raised, including retaining the existing Country Park which surrounds these properties and extending this Country Park provision by further setting back this development.
We are providing footpath links to ensure all residents can access the new school, healthcare and recreational facilities, reducing the current need to travel, particularly to take the children to school for example.”

Cheshire East is faced with a huge and difficult task of identifying sufficient land for new housing, particularly land which isn’t subject to major constraints such as flooding and is not within Green Belt or in productive agricultural use.

Gorstyhill Country Park (3)This site can make a positive contribution to the thousands of new homes which need to be delivered by 2030, as the site is free from any constraints. The land was previously used as a golf course and this will therefore help to protect the Green Belt and land in agricultural use in the Borough from development.

Not only can the proposals be readily accommodated and developed in technical terms, but this scheme will deliver significant benefits to the community and wider Crewe economy. Government policy, in particularly the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the Ministerial Statement ‘Housing and Growth’ highlight that the top priority is to get the economy growing. Growth means development and sustainable growth should go ahead without delay. The Council’s own growth agenda also states that supporting local economic growth should be prioritised.

John Church concluded:
“Ultimately, this scheme provides a carefully considered and sustainable way of bringing the site back into productive use, creating significant new jobs, delivering much-needed homes and all of the facilities a village needs; such as a school, healthcare provision, local shops, pub/restaurant and leisure facilities.
The supply of homes in the area has not kept up with demand and this high quality proposal will assist, helping local people – including first time buyers, families and the elderly – to stay in the area.”

Gorstyhill Country Park (2)