Plans for 50 houses in Chapel refused

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Councillors rejected plans to build 50 homes on land off Sheffield Road, in Chapel-en-le-Frith, in a bid to save local jobs.

Members of the Development Control Committee voted to refuse the proposal, submitted by Elegant Homes, at a meeting at Chapel-en-le-Frith Town Hall, on Monday.

The application sought permission for the construction of 15 two-bedroom houses, 26 three-bedroom houses and nine four-bedroom houses, of which a total of 30 per cent would be affordable, as well as the refurbishment of three houses on Market Street.

The proposed site, adjacent to Chapel Tool Hire, is currently used as a bus and haulage depot, offering overnight parking for heavy goods vehicles.

Planning officers recommended that councillors refuse the application on the grounds that the site is identified as a primary employment zone, the development failed to provide an adequate level of affordable housing, the absence of an acceptable flood risk assessment and insufficient information on the impact on protected species and their habitats.

Iain Todd, operations manager at Street Crane, spoke against the development, saying it was too close to his established manufacturing business, which operated 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

He said that the vehicle movements and the associated manufacturing noises would cause friction between residents and the company, which employed more than 200 staff.

Mr Todd said: “As a long established employer in the area, we pride ourselves on the contribution to the local economy, environment and existing local residents.

“We understand people need houses but they also need jobs and we’re one of the major employers in the area. We believe that 200 local jobs should outweigh 53 homes .”

Chapel Parish Council also objected to the residential development, despite describing the site as “an eye sore” and “in need of redevelopment”.

Members added that given the predicted population growth in Chapel, there was no evidence to suggest that homes in addition to those already granted planning permission were in need.

Cllr Stewart Young, who represents Chapel West, agreed, saying that it was a wholly industrial area and that Street Crane worked “around the clock”.

Cllr Robert McKeown added that the current site was of use to Chapel, saying: “Most towns have a lack of parking, so its good that drivers have somewhere to leave HGVs.”