Approval for 800 new homes, but few are affordable

A road with a gate to a field
The houses are due to be built on land off Flowers Lane in Leighton near Crewe [Google]

More than 800 new homes are set to be built on the outskirts of a Cheshire town.

Cheshire East Council has given the go-ahead for the plans, approving three separate housing applications for land off Minshull New Road and Flowers Lane near Leighton Hospital in Crewe.

The authority also approved a fourth application for amenities such as cycle paths, play areas, open space, allotments and a community orchard.

Despite passing the plans, councillors raised concerns about the lack of affordable housing included in the proposals.

The site is included in the local plan and outline approval had already been granted for an overall scheme, which will also feature local shops, community facilities, a pub and a new primary school.

The schemes approved this week will see 304 homes on two parcels of land which make up the southernmost part of the site.

A further 304 homes will be built across five other parcels of land, and 200 on the last part, which makes up the northernmost part of the site.

Although the four applications were dealt with separately, councillors said it was impossible to discuss one application without referring to the whole site.

They raised concerns about flooding, how the work would be phased and the fact the developers, Bloor and Vistry, were only offering to make 10% of the homes affordable.

Council planning officer Adrian Crowther admitted drainage had been a very significant issue on the site and said there had been discussions about how to resolve the issue.

The committee was told the developers were only providing 10% affordable housing to make the scheme viable, as they were also building some of the road network.

There was also an agreement that the school had to be built once half the homes were completed, they were told.


Councillor Janet Clowes expressed frustration at the lack of affordable housing provision.

“A site this size with only 10% affordable housing in a place like Crewe, I think is absolutely appalling,” she said.

Councillor Ken Edwards added that the council’s aspiration was for three times as many affordable homes as were being provided here.

“When I hear about viability, I’m a little bit concerned,” he said, citing that the developers were not building all of the roads proposed in the scheme.

All four applications were approved unanimously, subject to conditions and an informative about liaison with local councillors about the phasing of the overall development.

This news was gathered by the Local Democracy Reporting Service which covers councils and other public service organisations.

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