The Garden Village at Handforth is about to take a major step closer to fruition shortly, as two key delivery milestones are set to be reached.
Cheshire East Council’s strategic planning board approved the consultation draft of the planning framework for the site and on Tuesday (11th September), and the council’s cabinet will now consider the suite of practical measures necessary to progress delivery of the development.
The draft supplementary planning document (SPD) sets the quality and design principles for The Garden Village and, once adopted, will form part of the planning policy that any future planning applications submitted for the site will be judged against.
The SPD will ensure that the council’s vision is realised and builds on the Local Plan Strategy and the vision document for the site, as well as a number of technical studies.
The council will launch its consultation on the draft SPD later this month, when local stakeholders, interested parties and the public will be able to comment on the framework.
Cllr Ainsley Arnold – cabinet member for housing, planning and regeneration – said: “The Cheshire East Local Plan Strategy establishes the principle of creating a new plan-led settlement east of Handforth, promoting good growth for the region.
“This draft supplementary planning document now provides a detailed vision of how the new exemplar village can be planned and built.
Cllr Arnold, who rubber-stamped the SPD for consultation, added: “This, alongside the forthcoming implementation strategy, is one of the first of a number of steps the council will be taking to ensure The Garden Village becomes a reality as a great place to live and work.
“We therefore welcome as many comments as possible on the draft document.”
The draft SPD sets out the overarching design principles for the ‘village heart’ and each of the character areas of The Garden Village.
Engine of the North will act as lead developer on behalf of the council and will submit a planning application to deliver the village heart and infrastructure.
Engine of the North is wholly-owned by Cheshire East Council, and is the council’s strategic property company.
It facilitates the delivery of new homes, jobs and economic growth for Cheshire East, maximising the benefits from council-owned property assets and land.
Engine of the North also leads on strategic land acquisitions, enabling the delivery of the council’s development aspirations.
Cllr Jamie Macrae, chairman of Engine of the North, commented: “Engine of the North are the custodians of the council’s vision to create a truly sustainable and characterful new village for Cheshire East.
“This lifetime community will support its inhabitants as their lives grow and evolve, from first-time buyers to families, as well as older people looking to downsize.
“The Garden Village will not only be a great place to live but also somewhere for new and existing residents to come and enjoy their surroundings for generations to come.”
The Garden Village is one of the government’s 14 preferred garden villages in the UK.
It will provide 1,500 new homes by 2030 and is billed as a ‘sustainable, landscape-led, lifetime development for all’.
47 hectares of the site will be green open space, public amenity space and habitat protection – equating to over 40 per cent of the site.
The Garden Village at Handforth addresses four per cent of the borough-wide housing target and 68 per cent of Handforth’s target to 2030.