DEVELOPERS are looking to build 82 homes on the site of a former school in Winsford.

Handley Hill Primary School closed its doors 10 years ago after campaigners lost their battle to keep it open against the former Cheshire County Council.

The building was demolished last year – and now Galliford Try has lodged formal plans with Cheshire West and Chester Council to build 82 new homes on the 2.5-hectare site, including 25 affordable homes.

Handley Hill’s memorial garden – which commemorates brothers Joshua, Thomas, Callum and Daniel Young who were killed in 2003 – will be retained as part of the development.

In its planning application, Galliford Try said: “The proposed development is acceptable in design terms, in respect of its access, appearance, layout, scale and landscaping details, and constitutes sustainable development.

“The development forms a natural extension to the urban settlement boundary, delivering much needed high-quality family homes, including affordable housing.”

Handley Hill was first mooted for closure in June 2007 over concerns about surplus school places in Winsford’s primary schools.

The decision was taken that December by former county councillor David Rowlands, the ex-authority’s cabinet member for children’s services, despite councillors voting to keep the school open by 25 to 22.

Those campaigning to keep Handley Hill then took their case to the ombudsman, but finally lost their battle in November 2008, and the school closed the following July.

Winsford Guardian:

As work began to knock down the school last May, former town councillor Charlie Parkinson said: “This is a sad day for Winsford.

“We’ve got a perfectly good school in Handley Hill which everyone recognises was a good school.

“A result like this follows one of the worst decisions in local government.”

The plans include six one-bedroom flats and 19 two-bedroom homes which would be affordable.

A further seven two-bedroom properties will be placed on the open market, along with 34 three-bedroom homes and 16 four-bedroom houses.

Parking spaces for 158 cars in total will be provided.

The Handley Hill site was one of six areas for development which CWAC was awarded cash from the Government to help speed up the building of new homes last November.

It is also one of the sites allocated for new housing in Winsford’s neighbourhood plan, which was approved five years ago.

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Residents can have their say on the plans until Friday, October 4.

To view the scheme and comment, search for ‘19/03290/FUL’ on CWAC’s planning website.