Bowes Gate Development

A look at the progress on this site.

Update: April to December 21021

This site is now underway started in April and as of December the site is well into laying out the foundations of the dwellings. Note the date at which the development was given consent just below this update.

Update:

What is now envisaged is very different from the original plan outlined below. All affordable houses have been moved to the site next to the Medical Centre. The number of such properties has now been reduced to 2 affordable homes. The number of dwellings to be constructed is now reduced to 8 all ‘market properties’ for sale at full market prices – some close the £1 million. You might well ask how a development intended to provide 8 affordable homes is now reduced to just two. Sites above 10 dwellings become liable to provide affordable properties under Cheshire East’s (CE) planning regulation. So when the Rural Housing Trust pulled out of the development and the site was acquired by a commercial developer that rule was enforced. The same developer acquired the Medical Centre site and moved all affordable dwellings onto that location. It being deemed more suitable for such homes as it was close to the centre of the village. If these homes and those on Vicarage lane were built on one site then the village would have gained 4 affordable properties. Split sites mean they each fall below the threshold set by Cheshire East for the provision of affordable houses and we are fortunate to get 2 such dwellings.

The Original Application: On the 27 September 2017 the Bowes Gate application was given the go ahead. The proposal (15/1666N) by the Rural Trust was for 11 dwellings in total to include 8 affordable homes with 2 bedrooms and three 4-5 bedded ‘market’ houses. Here is the current site plan:

Bowes Gate Site plan

The three market houses are positioned on the south side of the site looking over the Gowy at the bottom of the slope. The terrace of 8 affordable properties look’s East toward the Mill. A footpath has been approved to cut down the slope to pass next to the river and emerge onto Wyche Road near the footpath gate next to the bridge and Chantry House.

I understand that negotiations are still continueing between the Rural Trust and the agents for the Medical Centre site off Vicarage Lane. As noted before the intention appears to be to amalgamate the development of both site and facilitate the exit of the Rural Trust. It is not clear why the Trust want to get out but their focus is on shared ownership properties with covenants that restrict their sale to local people. At present the negotiations involve moving the ‘affordable housing’ element off the site to the Vicarage Lane development while at the same time moving the ‘market’ properties from that site onto the Bowes Gate development. This has some advantages for developers and would facilitate the construction of more premium ‘market’ dwellings with substantial profit margins. In the process we would see the destruction of a key feature of rural villages namely a social mix of properties.

Time is short as the consent on this development is due to expire although Cheshire East has or will extend it due to the current crisis. The Rural Trust are pushing ahead with a series of applications designed to deal with the consent conditions. These have all been agreed. We will have to wait for the outcome. The PC disagrees with the ‘swapping’ plans although they were assured the total number of ‘affordable’ houses will not change.

By admin

Now retired from teaching. Involved in supporting the Village Day Committee, Village websites and Secretary of the Bunbury Action Group.