Malbank Waters housing development - Queens Drive - Nantwich - aerial shot

Councillors have allowed 21 homes to be built in a patch of Nantwich countryside because the site is now surrounded by a major housing estate, writes Stephen Topping.

Cheshire East Council’s southern planning committee gave the green light for the development at Fields Farm, off Queens Drive, at today’s (August 7) meeting.

The site was in open countryside, but now has the 270-home Malbank Waters development as neighbours which CEC tried to stop from getting planning permission in 2013 – only to have its decision overturned by Government.

Cllr Stan Davies, Conservative CEC member for Wrenbury, argued the land was now better off being developed like the surrounding area rather than being kept as farmland.

He said: “I have been to the parish council, they are not against it, nobody has rung me to say they don’t want it.

“What else can we do with this land?

“There is no view – you can only see the railway or the other houses.

“Who is going to keep it tidy if we don’t build on it?

“There is no farming that can go on there so to me it seems the sensible thing to develop it.”

Conservative Cllr John Wray, chairman of the southern planning committee, agreed the land no longer serves an agricultural purpose and should be developed.

But Cllr Andrew Kolker, Conservative member for Dane Valley, insisted the scheme went against the local plan – which is designed to prevent speculative developments in the countryside.

He said: “I have no particular objection to houses in this particular area – but I’m curious as to why we would approve it.

“Let’s protect our local plan, which we fought long and very hard for, and not undermine it by creating precedent.”

Next-door ward Cllr Penny Butterill, independent member for Nantwich North and West, also criticised the scheme – suggesting it would cause more misery for Queens Drive residents.

She said: “They have already gone through 300 houses being built on Malbank Waters, which has been an absolute nightmare for them.”

Nine councillors voted for the scheme, while Cllr Butterill voted against and Cllr Kolker abstained from the vote.

The development will include six affordable homes, plus a £49,028 contribution for education provision and £18,216 towards NHS services in Nantwich.

(aerial pic by Jonathan White)


  1. Kath Harris says:

    Stop destroying our lovely town. It is rapidly becoming a hideous urban sprawl. 30 years ago, when I came here it was a lovely country town and I could hear sheep from my bedroom at night, now it’s just traffic. The infrastructure just can’t take any more people. Stop lining pockets and consider those who already live here.

  2. Mr Daniel Slack says:

    I grew up in Nantwich. I come back now and again to see friends and am amazed how much building had gone on. I feel the town has lost it’s character. A farming town losing it’s farm land to so called ‘development’. A shame.
    Seems this ‘plan’ isn’t a particularly good one. All about lining the council coffers and not the long term good of the town.

  3. Michael Collins says:

    I lived at Fields farm for six years and loved it …

  4. Paul Weaver says:

    “I have been to the parish council”

    Really Stan? When?

  5. Funny how it says no farming is going on, yet there are sheep on the farm

  6. GREAT..Not Long Now Before Every Town In Cheshire Looks And Feels Like Crewe

  7. That just smacks the neighbourhood plan in the face. Individuals have given their time & commitment with no financial gain to CEC to build the plans on their behalf and for what?

  8. “The law punishes man or woman who steals the goose from off the common, but lets the greater felon loose who steals the common from the goose.”

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