Hartford Manor future unclear as rival plans are approved

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LadyKiwi
Posts: 437
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:16 am

Hartford Manor future unclear as rival plans are approved

Post by LadyKiwi » Thu May 10, 2018 1:46 am

HARTFORD Manor’s fate is in the hands of its owner after councillors approved plans to turn it into either homes or a religious school.

At a meeting on Tuesday night Cheshire West and Chester Council’s planning committee unanimously gave the green light to a scheme from the current landowner to knock down the adjoining call centre building, and renovate the site with 15 apartments and 42 houses.

The committee then passed a rival bid from Mereside Education Trust, run by the Plymouth Brethren Church, to convert the site into a school for 165 pupils by six votes to five.

A statement read out on behalf of Cllr Susan Kaur, Conservative member for Hartford and Greenbank, stated her opposition due to traffic issues, and called for a new GP surgery instead.

But her colleague Cllr Patricia Parkes said: “While I agree with a lot of what Susan says, I am mindful that the site has a capacity of 300 workers at the call centre, which would generate a lot more traffic.”

Michael Gilbert, speaking on behalf of landowner Hartford Investments, said there was a ‘lack of any significant local objection’ for housing at the site.

Supporting the scheme, Conservative member Cllr Eleanor Johnson said: “That building is outstanding, I have to say.

“For that to be brought back into use and lived in I think would be a wonderful development on this site.”

Following the first decision, Andrew Beard, on behalf of Mereside, said: “You’ve already granted the residential application, and you should also grant this application as well.”

He highlighted that the school would be sustainable by running its own minibuses to pick up and drop off 140 of its pupils, and that by retaining offices the site would create jobs.

But Cllr Norman Wright, Conservative, said: “My concern is that there is no play area or sports centre on-site for the children, and no agreement with the adjacent schools to use theirs. That’s not right.

“It is an area where there is a lot of traffic congestion at the moment – I know because I’ve been in it. I’m not completely happy about it, I’d rather have the houses.”

Mr Beard told the committee that Mereside needed the planning permission so it could try to buy the site.

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