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

The result of a second public inquiry into the Muller Property application for Stapeley could take as long as 10 weeks to be announced.

A four-day inquiry was held last week into the first phase proposal by Muller to build 189 houses, industrial units, space for a school, and access road off Peter de Stapleigh Way.

If it goes ahead it could pave the way for a 1,000-home ‘Nantwich South’ development on green land between Peter de Stapleigh Way, Audlem Road and London Road.

But Protect Stapeley campaigner Pat Cullen, one of many who have objected to the Muller bid, is hopeful the inquiry inspector will reject the bid.

Chairman of Stapeley Parish Council Cllr Matthew Theobald, and Cheshire East ward councillors Peter Groves and Andrew Martin, all spoke at the inquiry on why the plan should be refused.

Mr Cullen, who attended the inquiry held at Crewe Alexandra’s Gresty Road stadium, said: “There are some very good reasons to refuse the application.

“For example, it conflicts with various policies in the very new Stapeley and Batherton Neighbourhood Plan and the recent Cheshire East Local Plan, Nantwich has exceeded its target for new houses, and some ‘best and most versatile’ agricultural land will be lost.

“However, for all those things to be taken in to account, Cheshire East must have a 5-year land supply and Muller’s team spent a long time arguing that Cheshire East does not have a 5-year land supply.

“In addition, some recent decisions from other public inquiries back this up.

“Cheshire East argued that, as the Local Plan Inspector had recently concluded, Cheshire East does have the required 5-year land supply.”

The inquiry ended on Friday with a site visit where the inspector and others walked through the current Stapeley Gardens building site to the proposed access road, opposite the Cronkinson Farm pub.

“From there we walked through the hedge to the fields where the building would take place,” added Mr Cullen.

“The inspector had a good grasp of the area and he told us that he had driven around Nantwich and the local area several times.

“As to what will happen – well, it’s anyones guess.

“Cheshire East has a very good case for it to be refused but if the inspector finds that Cheshire East does not have a 5-year land supply then the law says that usually (but not always), permission should be granted.

“Let’s not forget, in 20016 an inspector refused Wainhomes permission to extend its Audlem Road development even though Cheshire East did not have a 5-year land supply.

“The inspector will have to assess the planning balance – some elements are in favour of the application, some elements are against it.

“It may well be 8 to 10 weeks before we find out the decision.”

The second inquiry was ordered after Muller successfully went to the High Court which quashed the Secretary of State’s original decision to reject their planning appeal.

(Pic: aerial view of Stapeley, by Jonathan White)

One Comment

  1. Wheels within wheels .This should not
    go ahead. Essentially the area is now snowbound with Traffic to the point of being unnaceptable following other easily gained planning permission. It really has to stop in this particular area. There is no concession in any way that would not impinge on existant residents and their reduction of quality of life. It is not whether another piece of the jig saw can be added it is that the jig saw has already been abused to the detriment of the area and the services. Go somewhere else Muller . Nantwich is now FULL

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