Families celebrate victory in battle against new homes plan
FAMILIES are celebrating the refusal of a controversial proposal to build hundreds of new houses in their neighbourhood.
But the campaigners in Alsager say there are 'big battles' still to fight.
Councillors have turned down plans for 150 houses at land near Hall Drive in the town.
An application for up to 155 residential properties at nearby Sandbach Road was also refused.
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Rafe Wakelin, vice chairman of the Alsager Residents' Action Group (ARAG), said: "We are very pleased with the situation regarding both Hall Drive and Sandbach Road.
"It exemplifies what we're trying to do in terms of saying enough is enough. Residents had put a lot of work into fighting this."
But Mr Wakelin said that despite the victory they are gearing themselves up to fight other development plans in Alsager.
"There is a lot of anger about the situation, not just these sites. We've got one a week nearly at the minute," he said.
"We've got some big battles to fight in the future, there's no question about it."
He said the next major development the area faced would be plans for houses at the former MMU site.
The Hall Drive development prompted a mass of objections from residents including 852 signatures on a petition.
They feared the new houses would transform their quiet neighbourhood and create traffic problems. There were also concerns the land would be at risk of flooding.
Emma Nawoor from the Hall Drive Action Group, said: "We had more than 800 people who signed the petition and 300 who stood in a muddy field to protest against it, so it's paid off."
Mrs Nawoor said she was 'pretty sure' developers Renew Land Developments Ltd would appeal against the refusal but that if they did they would fight them again.
Llyn Brindley, from Swettenham Close was also part of the action group and said: "We're happy it's been refused. There's the risk of flooding, the highways and the railway."
Cheshire East Council's Strategic Planning Board voted against the application on Wednesday following a recommendation from officers that it be refused.
The development would have seen a mix of three, four and five bedroom properties.
Alsager councillor Rod Fletcher said: "I don't think it's an appropriate place for a development. There's the high water table and gets very swamped and to me it would cut into the countryside. Hall Drive should stop where it does now."
Colin Burgess, chairman of Alsager Town Council's planning committee praised the decision. He said: "I think they've done the right thing."