Families unite to fight plans for 34 homes on farm land in Alsager
MORE than 100 residents are opposing plans to build 34 homes on farm land.
A site next to Heath End Farm in Hassall Road, Alsager, has been earmarked for the development.
Cheshire East Council's strategic planning board will meet on Wednesday to decide whether to approve the scheme for houses and an access road.
Planning officers have recommended the plans – submitted by Frank Evason and Allan Key – go ahead.
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But they have drawn up a string of conditions, including assurances the developers will include public open space, 30 per cent affordable housing, and contribute £65,078 towards primary education and £45,789.83 towards an off-site playground and play equipment.
Alsager Town Council is opposing the plans, claiming it marks an intrusion into open countryside.
Now 109 letters of objection have been submitted by families living near the site. They believe the extra houses are not needed and would blight the landscape.
Alsager Residents' Action Group is also accusing Cheshire East Council of 'incompetency' for failing to identify a five-year housing land supply.
The lack of a five-year plan was included in council planners' reasons for recommending approval.
Action group vice-chairman Rafe Wakelin, from Dunnocksfold Road, Alsager, said: "This smacks of incompetence.
"We are getting speculative developments because there is no five-year plan, and now to put that forward as a reason for approval is highlighting incompetence.
"This is agricultural land and what is of particular concern to residents is that it floods on a regular basis."
Action group president Derek Bould, aged 72, from Alsager, a former town and county councillor, said: "We don't have a five-year plan and it is ridiculous.
"Where are we when planning officers use that as an excuse to recommend approval? The problem is not just in Alsager, it is all over the area."
When Cheshire East Council was formed in 2008, previous local plans put together by councils swallowed up by the new authority became defunct.
A council spokesman said: "The Governmentrequires the council to identify at least five years' supply of developable housing land through its Local Plan. The preparation of this document was delayed by local government reorganisation.
"Despite this unavoidable setback, the council is now making good progress and hopes to meet the requisite five years' housing supply shortly.
"In the meantime, the council is obliged to deal with applications in line with national policy."