A CONTROVERSIAL plan to build 268 homes behind the Verdin Exchange in Winsford has been given planning approval by Cheshire West councillors.

Having originally been deferred from July’s CWAC planning meeting, the proposal received near-unanimous support from planning committee members after going through a raft of amendments.

At the heart of the issues were the loss of playing fields to the estate, as well as the additional traffic that would be generated.

Cllr Mike Baynham, Conservative, said: “I think as a ward councillor this plan, although changed, still does not really reduce the underlying issue of the sheer amount of traffic the residents will go through living with.”

“I am here for my residents. I can see quite clearly we are creating a problem for the future.”

However, Cllr Baynham’s fellow Winsford Over and Verdin representative, Cllr Gina Lewis, believed the need for housing in the town outweighed the traffic concerns.

Cllr Lewis, Labour, said: “We need more homes in this county. How can we ignore the fact that there are people in our communities without a real home?”

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.

Qualms from Sport England over the 1.74 hectares of playing field space were quashed after developers Engie agreed to install a sixth five-a-side football pitch.

Engie will pay £180,000 towards highway improvements, £260,000 for ancillary sports facilities and £61,242 for ecological mitigation.