new inquiry - Muller Property plan for green land (centre), brine leas bottom right, stapeley gardens housing, left - pic by Jonathan White

A High Court judge has thrown Muller Property a lifeline in their bid to build a controversial 1,100-home ‘Nantwich South’ village in Stapeley.

The judge has quashed a decision by the Secretary of State last August which had refused Muller’s attempt to overturn Cheshire East Council’s original rejection of the development’s first phase.

Now the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid will have to review the case once again.

In a letter seen by Nantwichnews sent to “interested parties”, it refers to a “Consent Order issued by the High Court on 14 March 2017, quashing the decision of the Secretary of State contained in his letter dated 11 August 2016”.

The letter, sent on behalf of the Secretary of State, asks for representations on:

– Progress of the emerging Cheshire East Local Plan Strategy
– The current position regarding the 5 year supply of deliverable housing sites in the Council’s area
– Any material change in circumstances, fact or policy, that may have arisen since his decision of 11 August 2016 was issued and which the parties consider to be material to the Secretary of State’s further consideration of this application.

It’s the latest twist in a five-year saga since Muller first unveiled its plans to develop land between Peter de Stapleigh Way, London Road and Broad Lane.

They want to create a ‘Nantwich South’ village of 1,100 homes, school, business and retail units and village green.

The first phase – 189 homes and access road off Peter de Stapleigh Way, was refused by Cheshire East Council in 2013.

It prompted a public inquiry held in 2014. A year later in March 2015, then Secretary of State Eric Pickles found in favour of Cheshire East.

But Muller appealed to the High Court in summer 2015 and the case was returned to new Secretary of State Greg Clark to review.

Eventually, the Government returned a decision in August 2016, again rejecting Muller’s appeal, prompting the company to again seek a High Court ruling.

Pat Cullen, of the Protect Stapeley campaign group, said: “I have not seen the High Court papers so I don’t know on what grounds the decision was quashed.

“However, it is a strange planning system that, in effect, allows a High Court judge to decide on housing developments.

“It is a disappointment but things have moved on since the previous August decision.

“I am optimistic that the emerging Local Plan will have a significant influence on any new decision by the Secretary of State.”

Cheshire East Council was unavailable for comment today.

(pic by Jonathan White)

3 Comments

  1. What’s the point in having a planning process that these companies can circumnavigate regardless of the decisions made by those charged to make those decisions? How many appeals do they get? I find it difficult to comprehend how a judge can be part of such a decision. I would have thought that all he could decide would be if the previous decisions made by the planners, the inspectorate and take Secretaries of State were made legally or otherwise. As for Muller, what do they not understand about being told no? No one wants their nasty houses here, there is no practical need for 1100 extra houses in Nantwich, and they are just not welcome. It’s purely greed that drives them and I only hope, but I won’t hold my breath, that the current Secretary of State doesn’t fall for their fairy stories. It seems that all developers have to do to get their way is to keep appealing oh, and throw in the ‘ affordable housing’ card. Never mind the effect on the area and it’s communities.

  2. George Meadows says:

    In reality these new houses being built locally are a pastiche, too close together, poor provision for cars, basically one design in various sizes, all two/three stories or apartments.
    Why cannot we have more diversity, modern builds that are not just bricks and tiles, but eco friendly and cutting edge.why do they take years to build? Why not have high end pre fab designs?
    As for the “village green” that only turns out to be a piece of grass to play football on!! What about exsisting hedgerows, trees, and ponds remaining a feature, why are all these estates so bland and dated.where are the modern bungalows for the elderly and disabled? Why are there so many large family homes when the population is so varied in age and size?! In short builders are failing to deliver a modern alternative putting their profits over the actual benefits to the community.

  3. Susan Beech says:

    The large housing corporations make smaller rooms and cause strife in the long run. I would like to see the people in charge of development make rules in line with good housing practices. Muller in particular use tricks with the showhouse furniture to make buyers believe there is enough room to live in. One trick is to show a 4 foot bed & a 4’6 quilt on it so people get a sense of space that is untrue. Please consider this point as it encompasses the whole property, not just the bedroom.

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