DEVELOPERS looking to build flats at Winsford Drill Hall say they will demolish the building if their new plans are rejected by council chiefs.

The 118-year-old building, which has been empty for four years, looked set to be knocked down under plans for 31 new flats approved by Cheshire West and Chester Council in 2017.

Modern Space has now submitted fresh plans for 42 one-bedroom apartments – including 12 ground floor retirement flats and six affordable properties – that would retain the front of Drill Hall.

Winsford Town Council is calling on CWAC to reject the scheme – but Simon Boone, representing Modern Space, says the old project would come back into play should the new plans be refused.

He said: “These plans are an improvement that would be smaller in height, length and width than the old scheme, and produce less cars because there are fewer bedrooms.

“What we have got is a recommendation from Winsford Town Council to now demolish a building that they have sought to save.

“The developer would make more money if it demolished Drill Hall and built the original proposal.

“If the application is not approved that is what will happen. It will be demolished by the end of the year with a view to start building in February.”

Although both the new and old proposals include one parking space per flat, Mr Boone claims there is more chance of displaced parking along Dingle Lane if the old scheme is built out because it includes 21 two-bedroom apartments.

He also insists the new plans would be ‘less intrusive for neighbours and more sympathetic to the surroundings’ than the old ‘monstrous’ development – but that scheme remains the developer’s fall-back position, including the demolition of Drill Hall.

Winsford Town Council wants CWAC to reject the scheme, with potential displaced parking along Dingle Lane a major issue along with access concerns.

Cllr Nathan Pardoe, Labour, said: “Dingle Lane is very, very busy, and there is not much off-road parking for the houses that are already there.

Winsford Guardian:

“It is not a stretch to say we would see more cars in Dingle Lane after the flats are built. Dingle Lane is also a rat run, particularly at busy times of the day, and that is a main concern.”

Town councillors have also warned the site would be an overdevelopment in the area and are calling for a lift to be included in the plans, along with electric vehicle charging points.

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Residents can comment on the plans until Wednesday, November 20.

To see the proposal, search for ‘19/02333/FUL’ on CWAC’s planning website.