A 268-HOME development behind the Verdin Exchange in Winsford could get the green light on Tuesday at the second time of asking.

Cheshire West and Chester Council planning officers are calling on the planning committee to approve the project from Engie Regeneration at its next virtual meeting.

The committee considered the scheme in July and deferred the plans – giving the developer more time to resolve environmental and highways issues and resolve an objection from Sport England over the loss of 1.74 hectares of playing field space.

Following the last meeting, Engie has added an additional five-a-side football pitch to the six other pitches it proposed in its original plans, and CWAC expects Sport England to withdraw its objection by Tuesday’s meeting.

The developer has also added landscaping to protect the homes from a wastewater treatment works to the north of the site, and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service’s training centre to the south, following concerns raised at the July meeting.

Engie has also tweaked the layout following concerns from a neighbour who spoke out at the last meeting over security fears for existing nearby properties.

The planning committee also wanted more information on the scheme’s viability to see if more financial contributions could be made for road improvements.

Cllr Mike Baynham, Conservative CWAC member for Over and Verdin, raised concerns about traffic congestion at the last meeting and flagged up the lack of a link road towards Bradford Road – which is required as part of any development on the site in Winsford’s neighbourhood plan.

Winsford Guardian:

“That means that all of the 268 houses have to then feed onto the existing road network," he told the committee.

“I cannot even begin to explain how poor that network is currently with regard to traffic around school drop-off and pick-up times.”

However, a report issued ahead of Tuesday’s meeting says Engie considers such a road to be ‘not appropriate, justified or deliverable’.

It added: “The road would increase traffic flows along Roehurst Lane, acting as a relief road to the A54, which would affect the amenity of existing residential properties.”

The scheme is expected to include 30 per cent affordable housing, plus a further 34 per cent of homes will be built for a registered housing provider.

In recommending the plans, planning officer Paul Friston said: “It is considered that overall the proposals provide significant benefits in the form of a mixed tenure housing development, providing a policy compliant level of affordable housing, and likely to deliver significantly more through the applicant’s arrangements with a registered provider.

“Together with significant investment in the Verdin playing fields, along with other open space and ecological areas (both on-site and offsite), it is considered that the benefits clearly outweigh the residual concerns in terms of matters such as not delivering Winsford neighbourhood plan aspiration of the connecting link to Bradford Road.”

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He added that the scheme is a ‘sustainable development’ and fits in with the neighbourhood plan overall.

If approved, Engie will pay £180,000 towards highway improvements, £260,000 for ancillary sports facilities and £61,242.50 for ecological mitigation.