office blocks - entrance to Alvaston Business park

A new office development for Nantwich has been “slapped down” every time it comes forward despite no parish councils or residents ever objecting to it, a councillor said.

Willaston councillor Allen Gage (Con) was speaking just before Cheshire East’s southern planning committee again refused an application to build on land off the Alvaston Roundabout.

Blok UK wanted to put six buildings with 153 parking spaces on the 1.1 hectare site, which is close to Alvaston Business Park and the Sacred Orchard pub, off Middlewich Road.

The committee refused the application on Wednesday (August 30) on the grounds it is not an appropriate form of development in the open countryside and would result in an urban encroachment into the open countryside.

But Cllr Gage said he thought it was a fantastic proposal and a good location, and he believed it would be allocated as a development site in the future.

““If I was a Nantwich resident or a Nantwich councillor, I’d be wanting the jobs and the business to come our way,” he said.

“It’s been slapped down every time it’s come forward but no residents have complained, the parish councils in the area haven’t complained.”

The application had been recommended for refusal by the council’s planning officers.

Committee chair Joy Bratherton (Lab) said: “My concern is it highlights a lot discrepancies you find in planning because there have been new developments around that site.

“You’ve had the pub built, you’ve got some office units in the close proximity, you’ve got the tennis club there and suddenly this one isn’t in keeping with the need or the policy.”

She said she had been told by the council’s planners it is against the policy because it is agricultural land, but she added: “I would argue that it hasn’t been used for agricultural land for many, many years.”

Planning officer Daniel Evans said the development would be encroachment into the countryside.

Audlem councillor Rachel Bailey (Con) said she understood what Cllr Gage was saying but her focus “is on the precedent set and the risk of prematurely allocating employment land when we still have many unknowns following the practice of working from home during the Covid time”.

She added: “I believe the application to be premature… and I believe the precedent it sets is a risky one and that it cuts into open countryside.”

She moved the application be refused and this was seconded by Dane Valley councillor Andrew Kolker (Con).

Cllr Kolker told the committee: “It is open countryside, it’s not previously developed land… so on that basis I think the precedent that this would set would be unfortunate and it could have ramifications and implications beyond what we would really want.”

The application was narrowly refused with three councillors voting for refusal, one against and two abstaining.


  1. I agree. The Council are quite willing to give permission for 1000 houses on a greenfield site of prime agricultural land behind the Foot Ball club, but don’t want to encourage people to work locally by providing new office space at Alvaston on poorer quality land, in a location with good access off an existing roundabout and access road. Doesn’t make sense.

  2. Be interested to know which refused and why on planet earth are two councillors actually abstaining, don’t they have the capability on thought? I would say apply for two buildings now and submit plans for others later it will be a done deal in ten years

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