tea at the tower in Acton

Plans for 53 homes and a pub in open countryside at Acton near Nantwich have been recommended for refusal, writes Belinda Ryan.

The application, for the development on land south of Monks Lane and west of Chester Road, was originally submitted in 2019.

It will be considered by the southern planning committee on Wednesday, April 3.

The proposal has received a mixed reaction from the public, with 70 sending objections to Cheshire East Council and 38 writing in support.

Among the objections are arguments the scheme is contrary to open countryside policies; it would be a visual harm to Acton village and it would have an impact on listed buildings and the conservation area.

Those supporting the scheme say the development would provide funds to maintain the Dorfold Estate, would be an improvement to the village and would provide employment opportunities.

Acton, Edleston and Henhull Parish Council has not objected but suggested a number of conditions be imposed.

Among these are giving careful consideration of the design of the “village green” so that it appears as community open space and not private open space for the residents of the proposed houses.

The application, submitted by Charles Roundell who owns the Dorfold Estate, seeks full planning permission for 53 residential dwellings and parking, public house with ancillary accommodation and parking, vehicular accesses including link road between Monks Lane and Chester Road, footpaths and village green.

In a report due to go to the committee, the council’s case officer states: “Within the open countryside, only development that is essential for the purposes of agriculture, forestry, outdoor recreation, public infrastructure, essential works undertaken by public service authorities or statutory undertakers, or for other uses appropriate to a rural area will be permitted.

“The proposal does not meet any of these exceptions.”

The council’s housing officer has objected stating insufficient information has been provided in support of the application with respect to the location and tenure of the required affordable housing provision.

The report also states: “The development would not provide suitable room sizes for all plots to provide sufficient living environment for future occupiers.”

It acknowledges the benefits of the proposal would be the provision of open market and 30% affordable housing, but adds the weight to be given to that “is more limited given this open countryside location and given that the council has a five-year housing land supply and is meeting and exceeding its affordable housing targets”.

With regard to the development funding improvements at Dorfold Hall, the case officer states in the report: “The LPA (local planning authority) do not consider the proposal constitutes enabling development and actually causes more harm to other heritage assets.”

The application has been recommended for refusal on six grounds.

These include the proposed development is unsustainable because it is located within the open countryside and because it would cause harm to the setting, character and appearance of the conservation area, listed buildings and historic registered park.

The southern planning committee meeting takes place at 10am on Wednesday, April 3, at Crewe Municipal Buildings.

Earlier this week it emerged that the Roundell family have put the Dorfold Estate and Showground on the market, with a sale price according to Savills of £11.4 million.



  1. Indeed Alan there was a pub in Acton and it closed few years back, so having another ‘pub’ wont work. Isn’t the owner of Dorfold Hall selling it, so having ‘planning permission’ in place for houses/pub, makes that land very viable indeed. Double standards. The roads in that vacinity couldn’t withstand extra traffic of one maybe two or three cars per household. Where I live in Wardle, I have send in the past ten years how traffic has increased dramactically and it’s not for the good.

  2. Hattie Chewd says:

    The one thing Acton needs is a proper car park for the school.
    Have you seen how these parents have a complete disregard for the local residents when dropping off or collecting their offspring ?

  3. I’m not one to support the aristocracy of this country – the Roundell family included in that when you inherit an £11mil+ estate. That being said, calling them scumbags hardly seems fair. They have tried a number of different ways to raise funds to maintain the estate, all of which seem to be failing. Presumably, if these plans looked like they were going to be approved, the estate may not have gone on the market at all.

    How do we think any of our little worker houses got built in the first place? Some rich guy who owned everything sold some of it.

    Maybe Acton should pull together and buy land from the Roundell family and keep it as park land if they want? If not, Acton seems to have rejected their way out of having the historical family home stay within its family for the sake of new houses being anywhere near old buildings. Do you think the person to buy it next will care MORE? Looks like we’ll have to hope they do…

  4. Seem to remember there was a pub in Acton that successive landlords found difficult to make work

  5. What an absolute scum bag he is.
    Dorfold hall estate is up for sale at the moment.
    So they wanted to desolate the beautiful Acton country side.
    Make millions
    Then bugger off and leave everyone to rot in his mess.
    The ends people will go to, to get rich.

  6. Des Turner says:

    the only new housing now should be bungalows, the elderly and disabled do not want apartments, yet are living in bigger houses with no suitable option to downsize, as for building on this land, disgraceful idea, it is totally out of keeping for the area

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