Meeting with the MMU Developer 5/8/2014
ARAG Officers met with Andrew Taylor, Planning Director of David Wilson Homes/ Barratt Homes concerning the MMU site on Tuesday August 5th 2014.
The purpose of the meeting was to obtain information about the Developer’s proposals and to discuss any opportunities for further consultation.
In summary, the proposed plan is:
- To develop a detailed plan for submission to Cheshire East by Sept/ Oct 2014.
- To obtain planning approval early 2015.
- To demolish all existing buildings including the sports facilities.
- To retain some of the sports fields and provide replacement sports pitches on the south side of the site. It is also proposed to provide a new changing room facility in the same area which could include a multipurpose room for community use. These facilities will be for open use by the Community.
- To build between 350 and 450 2/3/4/5 bedroom houses to a high standard over a 10 year period at the rate of around 50 per year.
- To provide public open space on the site.
- To produce a transport assessment and consider making contributions to improve existing infrastructure as required.
- To have people living on the site by the end of 2015 / early 2016.
Mr Taylor informed ARAG:
- that consultation has been going on for some time with Sport England (a statutory consultee ), Alsager Sports Association, Alsager Association Football Club, the High School, the cricket Club, Alsager Town Football club and Cheshire East Leisure Services Department.
- that the exhibition staged on July 23rd at the school was part of the pre-application consultation and the first consultation with the local residents.
- that the Developer distributed 1,000 leaflets to residents and approximately 300 people attended the exhibition. Comments have not yet been analysed but it appears that the main issues reported were related to housing density and infrastructure.
- that the Developer is keen to receive comments about the proposals and would be happy to obtain these via ARAG here or sent directly to them here.
Mr Taylor was questioned by ARAG officers concerning many comments received by them from residents.
The Developer accepted that the housing levels proposed for this site are potentially significantly greater than those specified in the submitted Local Plan but considers that the proposed housing density levels are reasonable and justifiable. As a commercial operation, the Developer will endeavour to generate the required profit from the development.
This brownfield site is included in the Town and Local Plans. Any increase over the Plan housing level of 350 would be justified by the Council’s ongoing overall housing requirement and its inability to demonstrate a 5 year supply.
On mixed development provision for the elderly, there are no plans to build bungalows or provide facilities for the elderly or disabled. These are not considered to be cost effective or to contribute to best use of brownfield land. If Cheshire East insisted on this as a planning condition it would be considered.
Cheshire East, in its submitted Local Plan, has given protected status to the single Dunnocksfold Road field to the west of the site. This field is now proposed for development and the Developer will be making representations to have the protected status removed. Mr Taylor stated that this is to comply with a request made by the Cheshire East’s own Leisure Services Department. The consulted sports groups have also confirmed their view that this field is not required by them.
Management of the sports pitches and facilities will be undertaken by a newly formed Leisure Trust which will control these resources together with the adjacent Leisure Centre based on the school site. Cheshire East will hold these assets in perpetuity, subject to their continued sports use.
The Developer will make further contribution to upgrade facilities at the Leisure Centre and consider the resurfacing of the All Weather pitch.
Affordable Housing. The Developer may make a case to the Local Authority to reduce the percentage of affordable houses* because of the considerable contribution already required to support the sports provision. ( * normally 30% )
The usual Section 106 funding contributions, to Cheshire East, will be forthcoming for education and infrastructure. The Developer may also consider making contributions which would impact upon the local Community.
The look and feel of the development, will be consistent with Alsager’s image. Public open space will be provided on site, and the developer will seek to retain as many mature trees and hedgerows as possible.High quality build will be undertaken by the Developer
You will see from the diagram on the first page of the web site here that we can now anticipate 3,000 houses in Alsager in the next 20 years. The Local plan increased the housing allocation on the MMU site from the 300 in the Town Plan, to 350 and now the Developer envisages 350-450 houses on the site.
The Developer is happy to have a continuing dialogue with ARAG, and is also prepared to give a presentation to the Town Council when the detailed plans are available.
The Developer stated that all comments will be considered.
These minutes have been agreed with the Developer.