Planning Application Now In for New Development in Church Lane, Neston
|Author: John Cartlidge||Published: 10th July 2019 08:53|
Back in May, we were advised that developers McCarthy and Stone were seeking to consult on proposed Retirement Living accomodation on land at Brook Meadow, off Church Lane in Neston.
Now, the formal planning application has been made and residents or other interested parties may comment, on the Council's website, as to whether they support or object to the plans.
Due to the number of public comments already made on our original article about this, we have retained it below, along with the existing comments for your reference.
To access the application on the Cheshire West and Chester website, click here.You have until Monday 22nd July to log your comments on the application.
Original article (7.5.2019) follows:
Local resident John Cartlidge draws your attention to a consultation launched recently by a property developer, relating to land in Church Lane.
Many who live around Church Lane, Flint Meadow, as well as those who use the pathways around the area will recall the controversy in 2005/6 when the woodland at Brook Meadow (more or less opposite the ATC hut) was illegally felled by Samuel Stock and his then company Abbotsford Developments (U.K.), Ltd. Despite a conviction and fine for unlicensed felling of woodland, the Forestry Commission failed to secure a re-planting order despite stating they would.
Land in Church Lane now potentially earmarked for development
In recent days, homes near to the location have received a brochure from national property developers McCarthy & Stone, who are proposing a three storey block on the site, to provide 50 retirement apartments, and if the illustration is accurate, parking for 36 cars.
Whilst the front of the brochure shows a modest frontage, the building itself will cover an area of approximately 25 meters wide by 50 meters long. In the brochure it is stated the company has ‘recently acquired an interest' in the property. The last listed transaction was in 2018 when the price paid was £250,000, although the specific details of ‘the interest' will be private between the parties.
Typically in such cases the vendors hold what is known as ‘overage' (also known as clawback or uplift) which means if the new owner secures planning permission, the vendor receives additional payment. Certainly, the price paid barely reflects the value of a single property site, never mind a massive multi-million development opportunity.
The brochure includes an invitation to be involved in the ‘consultation', and further states this development will have "Low levels of traffic generation and car ownership". Whilst those of more advanced years might have given up motoring, most 50 year olds I know have a car.
McCarthy & Stone brochure recently delivered to residents in the area
No planning application has been submitted as yet, and the brochure advertises an exhibition of the proposals at the Methodist Church, Park Street on Tuesday 14th May from 3 - 7 pm.
What may be of additional interest is there was a recent (2015) planning application granted for the further felling of trees subject to tree preservation orders. The applicant was Brabners Solicitors of Liverpool for a company known as Everleigh Holdings Limited. We cannot find any UK listed company of that name. I mention this because Brabners seem to have been involved with the various owners of the property for many years, even though on paper at least, ownership has changed hands. What may be of further interest is an offshore company of this name was listed as represented by Mossack Fenseca, the firm based in Panama that was subject to police raids in 2016 following publication of their records. (‘The Panama Papers' news story?)
Whilst in the modern day we are expected to believe development is inevitable, one would hope suitable consideration is given to the impact of a three storey block overshadowing bungalows, the traffic issues given the narrowness of the lanes, the lack of parking, the access on Church Lane to the west, and the limited sight lines for motorists when emerging from Eldon Terrace or Church Lane to Burton Road. Local residents will also be aware we have recently seen repairs to the overwhelmed sewerage system, and so the impact of 50 more homes may not have been catered for.
I know nothing of planning matters, but I understand the original developer 10 or more years ago had looked to seek permission for 9 properties, and in the revised local plan, the size of the plot is considered to be sufficient for 17 homes, but I have been told by those better informed than I, this is a theoretical number based purely on the size of the plot and without consideration to access, parking, suitability, street scene and so on.
Please get involved in the consultation, even if you only ask one question e.g. ‘When will the woodland be replaced?' or ‘Why so few parking spaces?'