A Letter from Nantwich

  Originally written in August 2010  |  Updated August 2016  

The Consortium explains what housing development promises

THE three builders who will be producing the second phase of the Kingsley Fields housing development pushed a four-page leaflet into letterboxes in Nantwich in August 2016 posing - and answering - the question: "What's happening on land at Kingsley Fields in Nantwich?

   Taylor Wimpey, Redrow Homes and David Wilson Homes ("together referred to as The Consortium") explain the "high quality residential development" that will occupy a 60-hectare site to the north west of Nantwich.

   They promise "A high-quality residential scheme and ancillary employment uses which integrates with the town centre to the south as well as providing green infrastructure and safe and secure pedestrian and cycle routes."

 

   It also talks of "the opportunity to provide affordable housing to meet a local demand".

   There will be a new public open space - named on the centre-pages plan as a "central spine / linear park" to include play facilities.

   Existing habitats (that's for wildlife) "will be retained and enhanced where possible, with the retention of a high proportion of existing trees and hedgerows."

   Existing public rights of way will be retained where possible.  

  The centre pages are devoted to an aerial view of the area with a plan of the site superimposed. This clearly shows the realignment of the A51 to a new roundabout giving access to the Northern 

 

Gateway before curving round "employment land" and existing buildings.

   A Southern Gateway will be an extension of the road which currently links Nantwich Town F.C.'s ground to the traffic lights on the Waterlode.

   Public consultation about the proposals will now take place or questions can be addressed tp HOW Planning, 40 Peter Street, Manchester M2 5GP or by calling 0161 835 1333.

   More information can be found on the planning pages of Cheshire East Council (www.cheshireeast.gov.uk) or by visiting

www.kingsleyfields.com.

 

    THE ORIGINAL LETTER

Now 550 more homes are planned for town 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The entrance to Reaseheath College off the A51 road. A housing development plan for 550 homes will not be in the college's backyard - or its front yard, for that matter

I HAD thought that the onslaught on land in Nantwich for more housing had come to an end in the current economic climate. Although the houses planned for Stapeley Water Gardens seem to be on the cards again, with the announcement of the closure of The Oasis there, the first brick has yet to be laid. And that is many months after the housing plans was first announced.

   [2016 update: Stapeley Gardens is now well under way.]

   But the powers-that-be of Reaseheath College have announced a new plan for more houses. Not just a few, but 550 new homes. Not that the college will be directly affected by the new development - apart from the income from the sale of the land - as the site (far right) is next to the Weaver Stadium, home of Nantwich Town F.C., all but in the centre of Nantwich.

   

OR, at least, that is what could happen in the near future. In a report in the Nantwich Chronicle (July 28), labelled "Exclusive by Will Harris" the proposal is described as being "at its earliest consultative stage".

    It is for 37 acres of land between the college's equestrian centre, facing the college across the A51, and the Weaver Stadium. Of the 550 homes, 140 would be "affordable homes". A further eight acres for employment starter units which would "bring in potential employers of Reaseheath students and local residents" is also envisaged.

    The aforementioned consultation process is apparently to help Cheshire East Council plan for the future and produce a new development plan - a Local Development Framework - looking ahead to 2026.

 

THE news of the giant plan came from the college Principal, Meredydd David, who is quoted in The

Chronicle as saying "The land sale would release funds to allow our continued investment into new sports, teaching and recreational facilities which would be open to the public." And he added: "We believe Reaseheath is the backbone of the community and we're playing an influential part in allowing Nantwich to maintain its position as a thriving county town and a desirable place to live."

   Since the public are currently being consulted on the idea, a cynic would say that the comment about facilities being open to the public was a ploy to get support for the plan. As for the college being the "backbone of the community", I haven't heard that claim made before.

   Education is important, of course, but while the college also runs events such as lambing weekends to which the public are invited, and has a maize maze for children each year, and is a respected establishment, is it really the "backbone" of the community? What about all the other input from local people, behind our various attractions (Holly Holy Day, the Jazz, Blues and Music Festival and the Food and Drink Festival) that attract visitors, and their money, each year? What about places such as Nantwich Museum which bring people to the town who then spend money in local shops?

   Is Mr David making a claim too far? Is he over egging the pudding?

   Other aspects of the college's plan are: a new link 

road between the Waterlode (inner ring road) and Beam Bridge roundabout; and a riverside walk linking the A51 and the Waterlode.

   The new link road would clearly be the fourth access to the roundabout - not far from the entrance to the college on the A51 - currently just a hedge. That link road might benefit people from Audlem,

 

 

Whitchurch and other points south, or would it? They might join people from Crewe and the Potteries who would hopefully bypass the town and reach Beam Bridge along the A51.

    The road would be no use to people from the Chester and Wrexham, etc, directions who would have used the outer ring road. So who would it benefit?

    There is already an attractive walk from the town side of Beam Bridge to the River Weaver bridge in High Street / Welsh Row, so the new one would be a duplicate walk, simply situated on the other side of the river - but a few yards nearer to the college.

 

HAVING said all that . . .  Given that the Development Framework is for 16 years in the future, perhaps there will be a need for more homes by then (I still think we have enough homes in Nantwich for the moment).

   But, opposite the site of the 550 homes there is the current Kingsley Fields housing development (seen across the Waterlode, below) and so the new development could be regarded as an extension of that. [Update: It is.]

    This will have a lesser impact on the town than if it were a completely new area. Better there, I suppose - on a currently empty field (left) - rather than taking the place of further ancient sites in the centre of town.

   And, of course, 2026 is sufficiently far ahead for the infrastructure of the town to be brought up to date to serve the needs of all the extra 2,000 people that the homes will bring in. Isn't it?

 

 

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