Appeal - Land off Moorfields in Willaston, pic by Espresso Addict under creative commons

Cheshire East Council chiefs say they are “disappointed” after the Court of Appeal allowed a controversial 146-home development in Willaston.

Richborough Estates was given the go ahead in August last year following a public inquiry into the application on land off Moorfields.

Cheshire East Council challenged this in the High Court, where Mrs Justice Lang found the planning inspector had been wrong to regard the Green Gap housing policy as “out of date”.

But Richborough then challenged this decision in the Court of Appeal, which went in their favour last week.

Lord Justice Lindblom ruled that the original inspector’s decision was sound and should not have been quashed by the High Court.

Now Cheshire East, which has fought the application alongside residents and local MP Edward Timpson, is considering whether to challenge the decision.

Earlier this month, the council also lost its judicial review into the Harlequin proposal for homes off Wistaston Green Road, in Wistaston.

Cheshire East legal teams are also looking into whether to challenge this decision at the Court of Appeal.

A spokesman said today: “The council is disappointed with the outcome of these actions which has sadly resulted in development being allowed in the Cheshire East countryside and the designated green gap in the Wistaston and Willaston area.

“The High Court decision at Wistaston Green Road, Wistaston related to ‘green gap’ policies, while the Court of Appeal decision at Moorfields, Willaston, dealt with both ‘green gap’ and the application of national housing policy.”

Cllr Ainsley Arnold, Cabinet member in charge of housing and planning, said: “The Cheshire countryside is a vital asset for Cheshire East.

“While the council is committed to meeting the future housing needs of the borough, it is also dedicated to protecting the best of our precious countryside and the green gaps between our settlements.

“The council is considering these judgements very carefully and is considering whether to challenge any or all of these decisions.”

(pic by Espresso Addict under creative commons)

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