Councillors will decide on whether to impose a series of conditions on a controversial housing development in a Nantwich village.

Initial plans for 43 houses in Aston were rejected by Cheshire East, but developers are appealing against the ruling.

Now Cheshire East wants to set down a series of conditions under a Section 106 agreement in case the appeal is upheld by the Planning Inspectorate.

Developers who want to build on open farmland say the proposals would enable funds to be used to carry out renovations to nearby historic Combermere Abbey.

The abbey is high on the list of priority buildings at risk, according to English Heritage. Funds would be “enabled” by the Aston scheme to help pay for repairs to the abbey’s crumbling North Wing.

Now council chiefs want to ensure, if the Aston scheme goes ahead, that residents benefit from a number of conditions laid down in a Section 106 agreement.

These include completion of the Abbey work, a £30,000 contribution to local education provision, opening the Abbey for 40 days a year for public guided tours, and six days a year opening public access to gardens.

It will also include allowing Newhall Parish Council and Dodcottcum-Wilkesley Parish Council to hold local events in the Abbey or gardens each year, a £10,000 grant towards recreation facilities for Aston and Wrenbury, and £8,000 towards a speed reduction scheme on the A530 through Aston.

In a report, Cheshire East planners state: “It is important to stress that the agreement would only come into force in the event the appeal is upheld and planning permission granted.

“By entering into the agreement, the council would not in any way prejudice its case in defending its refusal of planning permission.”

The report is to go before the council’s Strategic Planning Board tomorrow (Wednesday October 24)

A decision on the appeal is due to be made by the Planning Inspectorate next month.

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